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October 18, 2011 06:15 PM

Variety Of Illnesses Fill Doctors' Offices

sioux falls, sd


Fall is here and there are a lot of viruses going around. Doctors' offices across KELOLAND have been full of sick people, coughing, sneezing and just feeling miserable.

Several viruses have been going around since school started and the weather started cooling down.

Eleven-month-old Townes Mondloch is in the doctor's office. His mother is worried he has an ear infection.

"He's been tugging at his ears a little bit," Mother Heather Mondloch said.

And Townes is not alone. Sanford pediatrician Doctor Rita Rabenberg has seen an increase in the number of people coming in over the past couple weeks.

"There's kind of a mixed bag right now with colds and sore throats and a little stomach flu and coughs; just a lot of stuff," Rabenberg said.

Rabenberg has also seen an increase in the number of people who think they have strep throat. While that illness is going around, many tests have come back negative.

"There's apparently something viral going around with symptoms similar to strep with the sore throat, headaches, stomach ache, body aches, fever, sometimes vomiting," Rabenberg said.

So when do you know whether you should pay a visit to the doctor? Rabenberg says if the cold lasts longer than two weeks and if you're feeling worse after the first week rather than better, make an appointment.

"If you have had cold symptoms, and several days into it you start running fevers, that's a little unusual as well," Rabenberg said.

Luckily, Townes does not have an ear infection. But his mother would rather be safe than sorry. She hopes her three children stay healthy as we head into flu season.

"Their older brother is five and in kindergarten, so we watch what goes around because they bring stuff home from school. They are around other kids," Heather said.

And of course one of the best ways to protect yourself is to wash your hands or sanitize them before eating. Doctor Rabenberg also says you should cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands if you blow your nose, and if your child has a fever, they should not go to school or day care.

The best way to avoid catching strep thorat, is to not drink out of other's glasses, and, of course, not kiss anyone with strep throat.
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