The report below reminds us at ACP the importance of providing patients education about winter time illness, especially in younger patients with asthma and /or recurrent cough. The most common month of the year that a patient with asthma will have an illness requiring an office or ER visit is September. This is due to the increase risk of getting sick as there are more respiratory illnesses in the fall and winter months. Often these illnesses are often very contagious, they can be spread before a person appears ill, and patients with asthma have often stopped or decreased asthma preventative treatments like inhaled steroids (Dulera, Symbicort, Flovent, QVAR, etc) or Singulair since they have been much better through the summer. Taking preventative medications clearly and dramatically decreases the risk of dangerous breathing problems in most patients with asthma, although problems with cough may still be a concern. We recommend being sure to take these preventative medications for those who have used or have been recommended to use them in the past. Call our office to speak with our nursing staff or a provider if you have any questions.
By Kelly Young
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD
The CDC is encouraging healthcare providers to be alert for enterovirus-68 in children presenting with severe respiratory illness following confirmed clusters in Kansas City and Chicago. The agency is currently investigating suspected outbreaks in about a dozen states.
Thirty children with severe respiratory illness in those two cities tested positive for enterovirus-68, a relatively rare strain. Cases were aged 6 weeks to 16 years. The initial cases were identified in August. There have been no confirmed fatalities or neurologic syndromes related to the virus, but some children required mechanical ventilation. Over two thirds of all cases had been previously diagnosed with asthma or wheezing.
The agency urges clinicians to consider sending respiratory specimens for lab testing in suspected cases.
Stay Healthy Peeps!
The ACP Staff