Hey folks, it’s Dr. Martin back around and kicking. I have returned to working full-time in the clinic now. Thanks for all the well wishes out there. The blood pressure is finally something close to normal… at least until the next crisis occurs in the clinic or with one of my kiddos.
Over the last few days, I’ve noticed a huge spike in one particular illness. We are seeing our youngest ones with a high fever, and the older kids are experiencing fever with a sore throat; they are not having a ton of other symptoms. Now, the first thing everybody worries about is strep throat, and at times this can be very hard to tell without testing. However, when we see ulcers in the back of the throat it is most typically called herpangina (or the fancier name, enteroviral stomatitis). This is the cousin of the same virus that causes hand foot and mouth disease (Coxsackie virus). The good news is, that since this is viral, it will go away by itself (typically)… quit searching Google… and that other stuff you’ve been watching.
The peak season is typically August to October, but given that we are in North Texas, it is already pretty much summer. In the clinic, we are seeing fevers that are going up to 105°F. Remember that the only thing that you need to do for the fever is to keep them hydrated and keep them comfortable. The biggest problem with this illness is that the throat hurts so much, the children don’t want to swallow or eat. Since hydration is one of the most important factors, this is where we can get in trouble. As you get older, your body has typically seen this bug multiple times and it knows how to fight it off. The immune system of the younger children may not have seen this, and it reacts much more aggressively, spiking up the fever and, generally making you feel crummy.
The illness usually lasts 3 to 6 days. There can be vomiting and/or diarrhea with this virus. Sometimes, the kiddos have a runny nose, headache or body aches. In the early phases, this can be very tricky to differentiate from strep throat or another virus called, adenovirus. This virus can be spread by droplets, contact, and fecal-oral (poo or goo). This means that if you have kids, you have probably been exposed. The old school rules apply here, which means good handwashing, especially after diaper changes and before/after eating. If your child’s fever has not plateaued within 48 hours, or they are becoming dehydrated, we would like to have a look at them.
Since we now have our Urgent Care hours (from 5 to 7 PM, Mon-Thur), give us a holler if you are getting worried.
Stay healthy my friends,
Bruce D Martin
“the most interesting doctor in the world”