The back-to-school germs are spreading in Kentuckiana

Louisville, KY - By Lori Lyle - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Load up the backpacks with sanitizing gel. Colds and mono are making the rounds in Kentuckiana classrooms.

Pediatrician Dr. Jill Howell-Berg at Norton Community Medical Associates in Clarksville is diagnosing cases of the mononucleosis virus. Dr. Howell-Berg says it's spread through close personal contact and schools can be a real concern for outbreaks.

Watch for symptoms of fever, sore throats with white spots on the tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, headache and a rash. Mono can also cause enlargement of the liver and spleen along with elevated liver enzymes detected through blood tests. While the fever and sore throat pass in three to five days typically, up to 10% of patients have fatigue that lasts weeks to months. Treatment includes fever reducers, fluids and rest. Dr. Howell-Berg says contact sports should be avoided until the symptoms resolve.

Jewish Physician Group's Dr. James Brewer with Mount Washington Medical Associates says the common cold is causing the common symptoms of cough, sinus congestion and drainage, sore throat, fatigue and low grade fever. The common cure: drinking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of rest. Dr. Brewer also recommends a saline nose spray for stuffiness and fever reducing medications. He says if symptoms persist longer than 7 to 10 days or mucous turns color, see a doctor for an antibiotic.

Also in Dr. Brewer's office, the summer cases of poison ivy continue. A red, bumpy rash with intense itching and oozing lesions. Dr. Brewers says washing hands frequently will help prevent the spread of oil, as will resisting the urge to scratch. Also he says, wash all linens that come in contact with the rash and try over-the-counter lotions to ease the itching and inflammation.

Also causing some real itchiness this week ragweed. Dr. Jason Guin with Family Allergy and Asthma says the counts are high and will stay around until the first hard frost.

It's triggering itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose and headaches. Dr. Guin recommends an allergy test to make sure ragweed is the problem. If so, he says, keeping eyes lubricated helps keep the pollen from sticking and causing irritation. Wear eye protection when working outside and bathing after being outdoors. Same goes for the pets, wipe them down after outdoor play.

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