Cold and flu season is starting early this year, pediatrician confirms

Cold and flu season is starting early this year, pediatrician confirms

If your household has been battling some kind of illness without a bloody break for what seems like forever, you’re far from alone. back to school season and the arrival of cooler weather always brings with it an increase in disease, especially among children. But it seems that this year has been especially brutal, thanks to the converging increase in cases not only of cold and flu but also respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)and of course, COVID-19.

There is a batch going around right now, from the common cold and classic sore throat to scariest virusesand honestly, we don’t blame him for wanting to keep his kids in a bubble suit and what’s more wanting to run away, never to return. Add scary headlines about a “tripledemia” with Children’s hospitals reach full capacity across the country due to a spate of respiratory illnesses, and it may just seem too much to handle.

That’s what it’s like this cold/flu/everything else season Really worse, or does it just seem that way due to the different viruses currently circulating? A pediatric specialist broke the scoop on Scary Mommy.

It’s not just you – all it peaked earlier this year.

Whether it’s a runny nose, a sore throat, a stomach bug, or all of the above, if you feel like your child can’t rest this year, it’s because seasonal respiratory viruses to have peaked earlier than normal. Explain Dr. Sara Siddiqui, FAAP, a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in New York, “The fall and winter seasons are often notorious for seasonal respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, enterovirus, influenza, parainfluenza, and the RSV”. He adds that while these viral illnesses “tend to occur most commonly from October to March,” it appears that we are experiencing “a high point currently, whereas we generally peak closer to January.”

And if it seems like younger children (infants and toddlers) are bearing the brunt of illness lately, it’s possibly because those early immune development stages of their little lives were shaped differently by the COVID pandemic. -19. Masking, social distancing and remote learning to protect against COVID, practices that dominated most of 2020 and 2021, have all but fallen by the wayside, meaning the breeding ground for other viruses to bounce back is sweeping through. , full steam ahead.

In recent years, “we saw milder than normal respiratory viral illness, which could be because COVID seemed to be the main circulating virus,” says Siddiqui. “Masking and general precautions may have limited the spread of other viral illnesses as well. Now that we’re getting back to ‘normal’, we’re seeing a big comeback in all other types of respiratory and viral illnesses.”

Unfortunately, however, health experts cannot pinpoint exactly why cold and flu season is coming early and hard this fall unlike in years past, says Siddiqui. “The hypothesis is that COVID may have been the predominant viral disease that suppressed the spread of other viruses temporarily.” Still, it’s a pattern that has existed even before the pandemic, with Siddiqui adding: “We’ve seen other years with an increase in respiratory viral illnesses, along with increased spread of influenza, where it seemed like ‘everyone’ had symptoms.” of cough and congestion. “

Okay, so what are we supposed to do?

Aside from silently crying or suppressing a scream into your pillow every day (which we fully support, if need be!), what can parents do to get through the season with their sanity intact?

On a personal level, there are many practical steps you can take to keep yourself and your home safe and (hopefully!) mitigate the disease. “It’s still important to keep in mind that washing your hands, coughing into your arm, and staying home when you’re not feeling well (especially with a fever) will help reduce the spread of the disease,” says Siddiqui. “Supporting the immune system with proper diet and activity, maintaining hydration, good sleep hygiene, and keeping up with eligible vaccinations will also help reduce the spread.”

Siddiqui also points out that political decisions, such as improving ventilation and requiring the use of universal masks in public areas such as hospitals and doctors’ offices, are important to protect the immune systems of young infants, immunocompromised patients and the elderly. But of course it is not always easy to control the environment in which you and/or your children find themselves.

“Parents should continue to encourage their children to wash their hands frequently, especially before meals,” says Siddiqui. “Teaching children to avoid touching their faces, especially the mouth, nose, and eye areas, helps reduce the spread of viral and bacterial illnesses. Keeping children (and adults) home when they are sick or with fever is a good way to reduce the spread in school and office settings.”

At any time, for any reason, checking in with your child’s doctor is never a bad idea, she adds. “Encouraging communication with your pediatrician to ensure early diagnosis and treatment options to get back to health quickly is also a great way to reduce the spread of disease.” No matter what, however, you Will Get over this, and things will get better over time.

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