What's Going Around: strep throat and sinusitis - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

What's Going Around: strep throat and sinusitis

Strep throat and sinusitis are what's going around this week in Southwest Louisiana. (Source: KPLC) Strep throat and sinusitis are what's going around this week in Southwest Louisiana. (Source: KPLC)

Sore throats, stuffy noses, and some fever to top all of that off: a range of upper respiratory infections is What's Going Around this week.  

Upper respiratory infections are the most common illness resulting in missed work or school.  Dr. Robert Anderson at Calcasieu Urgent Care says they are seen most in the fall and winter, but got off to an early start in Southwest Louisiana.

"When all the kids come back to school, they start sharing all the germs," said Dr. Anderson.  "It's a little bit earlier this year.  We're getting busier earlier in the season than before."

A lot of the complaints are the same: sore throats, runny noses, stuffy heads, and overall feeling pretty miserable.

"We're seeing a lot of sore throats, a lot of strep, pharyngitis, a lot of sinusitis, the whole gamut of the upper respiratory stuff right now," said Dr. Anderson.

Strep throat is the most painful of the conditions, but also easiest to treat after diagnosis confirmation from a rapid strep test.

"Fevers, if you have runny nose with it, it probably isn't strep, but if it's an isolated sore throat with a fever, headache, nausea, those are typical of strep throat," said Dr. Anderson.

Antibiotics help you get rid of the strep infection and steroids might be prescribed to reduce painful inflammation.

If cold-like symptoms have you feeling down, you might have sinusitis: inflammation in your sinuses that could have started as a cold or allergic reaction.
"Sinusitis is harder to treat, it takes longer to treat," said Dr. Anderson.  "The passages are all blocked up and it's just a longer course of everything."

Dr. Anderson recommends over-the-counter decongestants and nasal steroid sprays, but if your condition does not improve after a few days, you need to see a doctor.

These upper respiratory infections spread easily.  Good and frequent hand washing cannot be stressed enough to prevent yourself from getting sick.

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