Time of the Season for Sickness: June 20, 2013

Hearing the phrase ‘it’s going around’ is enough to make a parent shudder- especially when the bug or bacteria hits your child.

“I think the natural inclination is to be nervous and you want to figure out what the cause is and figure out what you need to do to get it better as fast as possible,” says Caitlin Schultheis, mom.

To understand the reason, you might look at the season. Turns out many sicknesses are cyclic- including some of the most common ones that strike kids.

“Certain illnesses do tend to travel certain time of the year. Historically in Southwest Florida we see flu from September through May. However just in the past couple of years we’ve been breaking that rule.  Swine flu ran all summer if you remember 2010,” says Dr. Martin Sherman, pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.

Stomach bugs start in the winter and flow into spring. One of the biggies is rotavirus.

“Which we’re now vaccinating children against, but it’s severe February, March, April.  Summer months we see enteroviruses or intestinal viruses. They’re going to have diarrhea, muscles aches. They tend to be more in the summer months,” says Dr. Sherman.

Strep throat strikes more in the springtime. Understanding when a particular illness is likely to occur helps pediatricians better diagnose and treat.

“And you also get to learn what’s been going on in your community, things you’ve been seeing at certain times sort of gives us a hint,” says Dr. Sherman.

And it may give comfort to a parent, next time something is spreading through the pediatric population. Knowing their doctor is ready and waiting.

“The first thing we’ll do is contact her pediatrician,” says Schultheis.

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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.