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  • Writer's pictureDr Clodagh Ryan

It's Oktoberfest for germs!


The amount of viral (and some bacterial) illnesses we are seeing/hearing about at Cara Direct Care has surpassed any other month's volume since Cara Direct Care opened it's doors in 2017. It's like the viruses all came back out to play. Here is what is circulating currently:

  1. Strep - tis the season, but mostly September and has decreased recently

  2. Influenza - WAY too early for normal flu season but Covid and masking made Flu season all messed up. Australia had a NASTY flu season this summer, so we are likely in for a long and severe flu season ourselves. GET YOUR FLU SHOT NOW! Just like the Covid shot it decreases your likelihood of getting flu but if you do get it, it will decrease severity of illness/hospitalization/risk of secondary infections (pneumonia or sinusitis mostly)

  3. Covid - yes it's still around, and we are seeing some more severe cases that had not yet got their newest shot. GET YOUR BIVALENT COVID BOOSTER!

  4. Gastroenteritis - fondly called the "stomach flu" a total misnomer, as influenza is mostly a respiratory illness (but can have some GI symptoms). The usual advice , rest, hydrate, stick to bland diet, it may take up to 7 days for your bowel to return to normal. Babies (0-5) and little old ladies over 70 (and gents ), call us asap, you are at higher risk of dehydration, so we want to keep a close eye on you. The rest of you - call if you are not getting better.

  5. RSV - respiratory syncytial virus. It is filling the pediatric beds in Chicago right now. We are seeing older kids and adults with a milder version (less breathing issues) but definitely weakness and fatigue for over one week. Plus this current version HAS TWO PEAKS: milder symptoms for a few days, seems to get better and then COMES BACK with more symptoms.

  6. 6. Rhino-enterovirus: a "bad Cold" virus, causing lots of nasal sinus congestion, conjunctivitis, fever, and also prolonged up to 7 days.

So wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, test for Covid, get your boosters if you are well. For symptom relief, here's our favorite handout for our patients. Feel free to share!

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Dr Clodagh Ryan

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