Does your child have RSV, Covid-19, the flu or a cold?

Does your child have RSV, Covid-19, the flu or a cold?

This winter, children will be susceptible to COVID-19, the flu, RSV, and colds. Many of the symptoms of the four viruses overlap, making it difficult to determine which illness your child has.

flu cases are is already shooting around the nation. But the flu isn’t the only illness experiencing an increase as we head into winter.

“We’re seeing everything come back strong,” said Dr. Alpana Waghmare, an infectious disease expert at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and a physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, according to The New York Times.

We could enter what The New York Times calls a “tripledemia.” Cases are likely to be mild, but children and the immunocompromised are most at risk.

“Navigating childhood diseases can be challenging for parents,” says Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, for the cleveland clinic.

Although COVID-19, the flu, RSV, and colds share many of the same symptoms, there are differences to look for.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV for short, is a virus that usually has mild cold-like symptoms. In young children, RSV can become serious. It is the most common cause of bronchitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the US. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that RSV symptoms usually appear gradually, usually four to five days after exposure. Symptoms of RSV generally include: cough, fever, runny nose, decreased appetite, sneezing, and wheezing.

In babies, symptoms may be milder. Most babies will experience lethargy, irritability, decreased activity, and decreased appetite. Almost all children will contract RSV before their second birthday, reports the CDC.

There are no vaccine available for RSV.

What symptoms of RSV stand out? Wheezing, which may sound like a hiss or a rattle. Bronchitis and pneumonia are common secondary infections of RSV, according to the cleveland clinic.

When to go to the doctor: Most symptoms should go away in about a week. If your child is not drinking enough, has trouble breathing, or if symptoms get worse, contact your child’s doctor.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms can range from mild to severe. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly, not gradually. by the CDC.

According to the CDC, typical flu symptoms include: fever and chills, body or muscle aches, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, and headaches.

Children under 5 years of age are at higher risk for complications from the flu. the cleveland clinic reports that some of these complications are: dehydration, pneumonia, sinus infection, ear infection, and inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissue.

What flu symptoms stand out? High fever, nausea and vomiting. It is very difficult to tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu based on symptoms alone, reports the CDC. The proof is available to determine if an illness is the flu or COVID-19.

When to go to the doctor: The CDC says to take your child to the doctor if he or she has trouble breathing, chest pain, bluish lips or face, severe muscle pain, a fever greater than 104, dehydration, seizures, or worsening symptoms.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The CDC reports that the usual symptoms of COVID-19 are: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, fever or chills, headache, body or muscle aches, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of taste or smell .

Symptoms of COVID-19 are generally milder in children and infants, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

What symptoms of COVID-19 stand out? Loss of taste or smell is unique to COVID-19. Again, it is very difficult to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 based on symptoms alone.

When to go to the doctor: Seek medical help if your child has trouble breathing or catching his breath, unable to keep fluids down, confusion, inability to stay awake, or bluish lips, reports Johns Hopkins Medicine.

What are the symptoms of a cold?

According to the CDC, the symptoms of the common cold are: sneezing, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, cough or watery eyes. Adults usually have an average of two to three colds each year, and children have more.

What cold symptoms stand out? Cold symptoms are usually gradual. Fevers are rare with colds, and symptoms are usually milder overall.

When to go to the doctor: Take your child to the doctor if symptoms do not improve after 10 days, the fever or cough worsens, or they experience dehydration or shortness of breath, according to the CDC.

How do I know the difference?

These lists do not include all the symptoms associated with these diseases. These are just the most common symptoms.

It can be difficult to determine which illness your child has based on the symptoms because all four illnesses have similarities. If your child has severe or worsening symptoms with any of these viruses, seek medical attention, as the cleveland clinic.

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