Virus season hits Pennsylvania early: 3 things to know

Several healthcare facilities across Pennsylvania are seeing an influx of patients with respiratory infections, viral strains mimicking the flu, and foot and mouth disease, signaling the sick season has come a few weeks early, according to the Herald Standard.

Here are three things to know:

1. David Patton, MD, a pediatrician at Uniontown, Pa.-based Cherry Tree Pediatrics, said the clinic has seen a "dramatic increase" in the number of children sick with viral illnesses since the start of September. His office has not seen any flu cases yet.

2. Gregg Nezowitz, MD, area medical director for the urgent care company MedExpress, said the viruses and infections circulating have very similar symptoms.

"This is the time of year when our centers see an uptick in visits relating to upper respiratory troubles and other related symptoms like coughing, sneezing, congestion, fever and body/headaches," Dr. Nezowitz told Herald Standard. "They may also appear differently in each person, as symptoms sometimes impact some more than others."

3. The Pennsylvania Department of Health website discourages clinicians from prescribing antibiotics for these viruses due to concerns regarding antibiotic resistance.

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