Gather round Boys and Girls, Mommies and Daddies: let's chat about germs.
There are good and bad germs. I want you to learn about the bad germs and how you can keep them away from you so you won't get sick.
This Spring, the germs we are seeing are Whooping Cough (Pertussis) and Stomach virus.
The Strep germ is a bacteria and looks like this:
- Strep makes you feel bad: it makes your throat sore, your belly hurt or sick, and sometimes gives you a fever.
- You get this germ when you eat or drink after someone else or coming into contact with their saliva (spit) on their hands
- Your doctor can test for this germ by tickling the back of your throat with a special swab that looks like a long Q-Tip
- Antibiotics help you feel better (pink bubble gum medicine Amoxicillin or a shot of penicillin) after a couple of days.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is an infection that causes a severe cough:
- Early: mild cough, sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose and other cold-like symptoms
- After 1-2 weeks, the cold symptoms get better but the cough gets worse and can be associated with:.
- Choking, gagging or trouble breathing. Sometime s children turn red in the face with coughing. Babies can stop breathing
- After 2-6 weeks, the cough starts to get better, but it can take weeks to months to go away completely.
- It spreads easily from person to person through droplets
- Currently, there is an outbreak in Grant County and Boone County among school children. The cough is one that is short and wet and typically keeps the child up at night. The whoop is not characteristically present
- The best way to prevent spread is to wash your hands and keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes.
- Immunization is key although in this local outbreak the Health Department says that 97% of the cases are in immunized children!
TO KEEP THE STREP AND FLU GERMS AWAY FROM YOU:
- Wash your hands
- Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes
- Don't share drinks or food with your friends
- Get your yearly Flu shot after school starts
- Sorry there's no shot to prevent Strep
- There are many viruses (the latest is Norovirus) that can cause what many people call the "stomach flu".
- These "tummy germs" can:
- make you throw up
- make you sick to your stomach
- make your tummy hurt
- take away your energy
- give you a fever
- Tests are not needed to tell your doctor you have these germs
- The best medicine is rest and drinking lots of fluid (Pedialyte for young children and Gatorade for older children)
- Culturelle a (probiotic) can give you good germs to put in your tummy and help the diarrhea
To keep from getting the stomach viruses:
- Wash your hands after going to the bathroom
- Keep your hands away from your mouth