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Interview with Dr. Craig Collison on How to Prevent the Spread of Contagious Illnesses at School

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Medical Minute - 2:26

Dave Kurten: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health. Our topic this week is top contagious illnesses at school. Our guest: Dr. Craig Collison. We will be discussing how to prevent the top contagious illnesses that are spread at schools. What are these illnesses?

Dr. Collison: The top illnesses that are contagious at school tend to be colds or upper respiratory infections, pink eye and strep throat.

Dave Kurten: How can you prevent a cold from spreading at school?

Dr. Collison: The common cold is a virus. There are multiple different viruses that can cause cold symptoms, so the most important thing is to wash their hands frequently. That can be either with a hand sanitizer or with warm water and soap. Any time kids are sneezing, they should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. They should never share any drinking glasses or utensils or other items that might carry these types of viruses. They should also avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. We do urge parents to keep their kids home from school if they’re having significant cold symptoms in order to prevent the spread to other children.

Dave Kurten: Strep throat is a common illness through contact at school. How can parents help their child avoid getting strep throat?

Dr. Collison: We prevent strep throat basically the same way that we prevent the colds – by washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing and not sharing personal items. The main signs of a strep throat include having a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever and swollen glands or lymph nodes in the neck.

Dave Kurten: Lastly, how can parents keep their child from getting pink eye?

Dr. Collison: Pink eye is basically any type of redness and pain or itchiness from one or both eyes. They tend to have drainage of mucusy yellow-type material coming from the eye when they do have pink eye. The ways to prevent pink eye: You don’t want to touch your eyes with your hands, wash your hands frequently, use clean towels and washcloths (and do not share those) and also change your pillowcase often if you’re having repeated issues with it.

Dave Kurten: Where can community members get more information on these illnesses?

Dr. Collison: Folks in the community should certainly see their pediatrician. At Mount Nittany Physician Group, our Bellefonte office is at 814.355.3626. Our Boalsburg office is 814.466.7921. And you can also visit mountnittany.org for further information.

Dave Kurten: Craig Collison has been our guest on this edition of the Medical Minute. Thank you for your time.

Dr. Collison: Thanks for having me.

Dave Kurten: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health.


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