Fall illness round-up

Now that the color changes on the trees are here and we are fully into the Fall, let’s look at what are the most likely conditions to cause visits to urgent cares and ER’s – along with key concerns, if any.

  1. Covid is back, but not with a vengeance. We are seeing sporadic cases here at Village Health — perhaps 2-3 cases per week. The patients are, in general, presenting with mild cold and flu-like symptoms. KEY CONCERN: those patients with co-morbidities (like Diabetes and Emphysema) are more likely to have issues and should be seen by a doctor.
  2. Upper respiratory infections. Probably the most common and least concerning of all the presentations, the “common cold” is very commonly seen here and remains a staple among Autumn illnesses. KEY CONCERN: most Covid illnesses are starting with cold symptoms. As noted above, this could be an important thing to rule out in people with serious underlying illnesses.
  3. Asthma. As the mercury drops, the asthma cases rise. Asthmatics who have been under control find their airway passages going into spasm with the cold air and, when their nebulizers and inhalers fail to open them up, they head to urgent care. A “triple threat” Nebulizer with steroids and two smooth muscle relaxers can usually send them on their way.
  4. Allergies. Starting in the middle of August, the Ragweed (“Hay Fever”) season continues right up to the first frost. Patients with symptoms too severe for over-the-counter antihistamines and/or nasal steroids, typically benefit from a short course of prescription oral steroids often in a “dose-pak” form.
  5. Poison Ivy. Yes, although it’s a summer problem for the most part, we still see quite a few cases in the Fall. The reason is that people doing fall clean ups are still exposed to leaves and the oils can stay active on weeds and even clothing and tools for up to 6 MONTHS.
  6. Influenza. Although we haven’t seen any cases yet, in the past, Influenza often struck in waves during the months of October and November. It will likely be almost indistinguishable from Covid except through nasal swab testing.

Whatever your Fall illness, Village Health is ready to see and treat you! Call us at (586) 752-7256.

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