San Antonio

University Health pediatrician answers parents questions about RSV, other viruses

SAN ANTONIO – Why are so many youngsters sick proper now?

That’s what many parents are questioning as RSV, flu and abdomen viruses are working rampant by way of colleges and daycares this fall.

Dr. Mandie Tibball Svatek, University Health pediatric hospitalist and UT Health SA affiliate professor answers a few of parents’ most requested questions about RSV and other viruses.

*Editor’s Note: This Q&A was offered by University Hospital because of a partnership between KSAT and UH.

Q: Why do my children hold getting sick?

Svatek: Currently we’re seeing excessive charges of many various viruses affecting youngsters inside our space, together with, RSV, Flu A, rhinovirus/enterovirus. Given all of the completely different viruses, locations like colleges, daycares, shops, eating places and other crowded locations present splendid alternatives for a kid to have a number of exposures to those completely different viruses. Given the excessive variety of an infection charges, it’s not uncommon for a kid to have one virus or a number of viruses. Their signs from one sickness could not have utterly resolved earlier than they begin to have signs from one other virus.

Q: When can I ship my little one again to high school after they’ve been sick?

Svatek: Many colleges have their very own tips for returning to high school so it is very important name and ask if you happen to aren’t positive. Typically it’s endorsed {that a} little one be fever-free for twenty-four hours and never have signs like vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores and rashes. Cough and congestion should be current after a number of the widespread viruses, however so long as other signs famous above have resolved, then cough and congestion could be allowed.

Q: They obtained higher and inside three days they’d one other fever. Can they get the identical virus twice?

Svatek: If there are completely different variants of the virus locally – such because the flu – then there may be the potential to get repeat infections with those self same viruses. This is much like what has been seen with COVID-19 infections.  It can be commonplace for a kid to start out daycare for the primary time and to develop 8-12 viral respiratory infections inside that first year. As a baby’s immune system develops, the variety of infections often will lower in time.

Q: When ought to I take them to the ED and when ought to I take them to Urgent Care or search for telehealth choices?

Svatek: If your little one doesn’t seem nicely and has signs akin to issue respiratory, not with the ability to tolerate oral consumption, a fever that doesn’t resolve after 5 days or is getting worse, otherwise you observe a change in psychological standing, then these are indicators they need to be taken to the ED.

Q: Is it necessary to know which virus they’d? Should they get swabbed each time they’re taken to the physician?

Svatek: A swab will not be wanted to establish viruses. If your little one has flu-like signs akin to fever, cough, congestion, headache, muscle aches and fatigue and they’re presenting throughout the first 48 hours of signs then they are often examined, or the pediatrician may resolve with out testing to start out a drugs akin to Tamiflu to assist shorten the length of signs.

For COVID-19, a mother or father could select to get their little one examined for the next causes.

  • Patients who’ve signs in step with COVID-19 must be examined instantly.

  • Patients who are asymptomatic however have had close contact with a person who has confirmed or possible COVID-19 must be examined at least 5 days after final publicity; nonetheless, these sufferers must be examined instantly in the event that they develop signs in step with COVID-19.
  • Patients who are required to acquire screening assessments primarily based on native public well being authorities, faculty districts, or other native organizations must be examined as required.

Overall it is very important contact your well being care supplier on your little one to assist information you in choices about testing and potential remedies on your little one. The well being care supplier can even present path on when to return to high school and actions that the kid could also be collaborating in.

Q: How can we enhance their immune system?

Svatek: Vaccines such because the COVID vaccine and flu vaccine can present safety and shorter length of signs, ought to your little one be uncovered to those viruses.  Keeping your little one updated on all vaccines can be extraordinarily necessary to assist shield your little one from vaccine-preventable illnesses. Eating a well-balanced weight loss plan can be necessary in protecting the physique wholesome.

Q: Once they’re ailing, what’s one of the simplest ways to shortly flush the virus from their system?

Svatek: It is necessary to maintain a baby hydrated throughout their sickness so giving them loads of fluids is necessary.  Treating the fever with fever-reducing medicines can even make the kid really feel higher because the virus runs by way of their physique.  Allowing a baby to relaxation and keep out of actions may even assist result in a better recovery.

Q: What can I do to forestall my little one from getting sick? Masks? Distancing? Hand hygiene?

Svatek: Different viruses are unfold in numerous methods both through the air and/or on surfaces.  Although they aren’t 100% efficient, mask-wearing and hand-washing could be protecting measures to assist hold a baby from getting sick.  If there’s a vaccine obtainable, that’s the best manner of defending in opposition to an sickness.

Q: If one in all my youngsters is sick, how do I forestall others within the family from getting the virus as nicely?

Svatek: In your home it might be troublesome to forestall unfold to others, however it’s particularly necessary to have a plan to guard younger infants, older people, and those that could have well being issues that may be worsened by an sickness. You can encourage and promote good hand hygiene at residence, and clear surfaces {that a} sick little one could have touched. You can even have relations to put on a masks and/or have the kid put on a masks to probably cut back unfold to other people in the home, and separate these people that could be vulnerable from these which can be sick.

Q: The transmission of flu was decrease than common throughout the pandemic as a result of many youngsters wore masks at school and public locations.  Are we at a degree the place our kids ought to once more put on masks to keep away from getting flu and other respiratory infections?

Svatek: Face masks for kids 2 years and older can undoubtedly be thought of throughout this time the place viruses such because the flu are predominant in our space. You may contemplate mask-wearing for children when COVID infection rates are excessive, for these youngsters which have a weakened immune system, and to guard other relations that could be in danger within the family as famous above.

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