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What's Making You Sick?

February 10, 2011, 5:10 PM by Kelli Grant

What's Making You Sick?
SIOUX FALLS, SD - If you've been sick lately, your co-worker likely is and so are your kids. In short there's a lot of illness going around.

And it includes some viruses doctors haven't seen a while.

Compared to this time last year, doctors aren't seeing as many patients. But there's plenty going around and traffic at clinics is picking up.

It's flu season. A time when doctors expect a surge in patients. But they're not only seeing the flu. Severe sore throats are also bringing in adults and kids.

“This is probably the most strep throat I've seen in some time,” Sanford Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Scott McKercher said.

McKercher says influenza is making the rounds, but so is what some call the "stomach flu."

“We're seeing some rotavirus. And that's the first time we're seeing rotavirus in a few years,” McKercher said.

Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea in children in the world and can put little ones in the hospital. McKercher says the rotavirus vaccine had slowed its spread.

“Now we're starting to see a few cases and a lot of them are from kids that didn't get the vaccine. There are some that got the vaccine and I don't know if there's a strain that didn't get covered by the vaccine or what,” McKercher said.

Still McKercher says compared to last year when H1N1 was rampant, this winter has been fairly quiet.

“I would still say this has been a relatively slower winter time for us. Kids just haven't been as sick, it's been nice,” McKercher said.

So when should you see your doctor? McKercher says if you're just experiencing cold symptoms, a runny nose and cough, plenty of rest and fluids is best.

“Now the only exception to that rule is influenza because if they have influenza, you really wanna diagnose it within 24 hours because there is a medicine called Tamiflu that we can start the kids on that can sometimes modify the disease and shorten in,” McKercher said.

McKercher says thankfully many children did get their influenza vaccine this flu season and that's helping to keep some illness at bay.

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