Is It RSV, COVID-19 or the flu? A pediatrician breaks down the distinction amid sharp rise in instances

WESTWOOD — Melissa Levin is a mom of three in Westwood, battling all of the colds and viruses this time of 12 months – particularly now that her seven-month-old Aidan began daycare.

“Socialization and childcare is actually key for us as twin working mother and father, we have to have childcare, so daycare made essentially the most sense, however then we additionally know that there’s excessive publicity,” mentioned Levin.

She says Aidan has already been uncovered to RSV, and he now has a double ear an infection.

“It’s undoubtedly a serious concern particularly you probably have a younger child as a result of RSV, it may morph actually shortly, it might appear to be gentle signs after which impulsively you’re going into respiratory misery,” mentioned Levin.

“We count on this 12 months to be a reasonably busy 12 months for viruses,” mentioned Dr. Mark Blumenthal, Interim Chair of Pediatrics at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

He says RSV instances are hovering amongst youngsters.

Boston Kids’s Hospital additionally began suspending elective surgical procedures earlier this month, warning households about “vital wait occasions” for hospital beds due to diseases like RSV effectively earlier than the standard flu season even started.

“With the pandemic, the seasonality of viruses has form of modified, so usually you would possibly see one thing like hand-foot-mouth in the summertime, RSV within the winter, flu within the winter, and people have all form of modified extra lately,” mentioned Dr. Blumenthal.

Dr. Blumenthal says RSV unfold a lot earlier this 12 months, and he expects a spike in COVID-19 instances quickly too.

“Folks’s immune system in all probability took a break throughout covid as everybody was form of masked up and never going out,” mentioned Dr. Blumenthal. “Now it’s form of coming again just a little bit with a vengeance.”

If that wasn’t sufficient, there’s one other virus to concentrate on this 12 months too.

“About each different 12 months Enterovirus could cause this ascending paralytic sort or weak spot sort syndrome and 2022 is a type of years we’re anticipating that,” mentioned Dr. Blumenthal.

Whereas enterovirus will be alarming in some instances, Dr. Blumenthal says these extreme instances are fairly uncommon.

“If we’re going to stay our life, then you definitely’re going to be uncovered, so I feel a part of it’s simply recognizing that your little one will get sick and that’s okay,” mentioned Dr. Blumenthal.

Docs say it’s powerful to inform which virus your little one might have since RSV, COVID and flu all current related signs like a runny nostril, cough or fever.

However some docs say a sore throat could possibly be an early signal of COVID-19.

“I don’t assume figuring out the virus makes a distinction about what you’re going to do at house on your little one,” mentioned Dr. Blumenthal.

However typically a toddler might want to go to a hospital, so be looking out in case your little one has problem respiratory, wheezing, exhibits indicators of dehydration or has a persistent excessive fever, name their physician.

A easy reminder many mother and father might have after dwelling in a pandemic for 2 and a half years.

Dr. Blumenthal says youngsters must also get the flu and covid vaccine to guard towards essentially the most extreme signs despite the fact that these vaccines aren’t excellent.

There isn’t any vaccine for RSV proper now.

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