Pediatricians seeing uptick in RSV, COVID-19 cases as students return to school

SAN ANTONIO Pediatricians at UT Health San Antonio say they have seen a recent spike in childhood COVID-19 cases, as well as an increase in other illnesses.

“We’ve seen a spike in RSV, hand, foot and mouth disease, strep throat and just the typical childhood illnesses that we deal with in the winter, but they’re here this summer,” Dr. Karen Schwab, PhD, said APRN.

Schwab said there are certain things that parents should be aware of.

“So RSV is an upper respiratory infection. It will present as a typical cold, stuffy nose, runny nose, cough, sometimes fever, and in adults they think, they’re just cold. But for babies and toddlers, it tends to settle in their chests. It can lead to wheezing and even respiratory distress,” Schwab said.

And while there is no quick cure, there are ways to treat the disease.

“So it’s mostly symptomatic. The most important thing is to suck their noses, keep them hydrated, and give them fever-reducing drugs if they have a fever. But monitoring, monitoring, monitoring,” Schwab said.

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Usually, the community sees these cases increase in the winter, so doctors say they don’t know exactly what to expect in the coming months.

“Yes, it’s hard to know or predict what we’re going to see. And will it stay the same? Will it expand tenfold? We don’t know what to expect. We’re just trying to prepare for it,” Schwab said.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cases of COVID-19 among children have also risen in the past month. The AAP says that as of August 12, more than 4.41 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. More than 121,000 cases were added in the past week.

Doctors currently encourage anyone over the age of 12 to get the COVID vaccine, but there are other vaccines that children and families should be aware of. You can find what you need to know by clicking here.

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