We hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are entering the holiday season with excitement and joy. As we enter winter, we will need to be aware of what is happening in our community.
IT’S NOT JUST COVID
We have been seeing significant rise in viral illnesses earlier than in previous years. As you may be seen in the news, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in October was causing many infants, toddlers, and young children to become very ill. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two. RSV can be serious especially for infants and older adults as well. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age. CDC: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Those that required hospitalization had increased work of breathing. Please click on video to see how a baby would present if they were struggling to breathe. Healthy Children.org: RSV When Its More Than A Cold
Hospitals were at maximum capacity and admissions now for RSV are starting to decline.
UH OH, FLU IS HERE!
As one virus declines, others seem to take its place. We are seeing more cases of Influenza (flu) in the office. There are children being admitted for complications of the flu. We strongly recommend getting vaccinated this season. It will protect your child from serious illness and hopefully prevent hospitalization. We have been offering the flu vaccine to every child 6 months and older at their physical exam appointment. If you would like to have your child receive the flu vaccine outside of this visit, please call as soon as possible. We will allow multiple children per family to be booked together for flu shot visits.
COVID is prevalent as well. It is very contagious. We are still asking in certain cases, that children be tested prior to coming to the office. Please wait one day after onset of symptoms before doing a home antigen test. If tested too early, it will cause a false negative result. If you are ill with COVID, we would be happy to see you over a Telemed visit if needed.
With the increased numbers of children and teens sick, we are doing are our best to see as many of our patients in person. We are still limited by the number of rooms and the number of providers able to use the space to see patients. Please be patient and understand due to steep rise in the number of ill, we may be completely booked early in the day. Our phenomenal nursing staff have been speaking with many of you in order to help support your children at home. We ask that you do not go to Emergency Department unless it is severe condition or we have advised you to do so. We need to keep the ED available for the sickest and most vulnerable.
RSV, COVID, and FLU all are treated primarily with supportive care - rest fever control and fluids. Certainly, if you are concerned about anything, we can see your child or talk with you on the phone. If your child has underlying medical condition, they may be at higher risk, please do not hesitate to call us. Antibiotics are not prescribed for viral illnesses like these. In some cases, flu can be treated with an antiviral called Tamiflu that may shorten the symptoms. It does have side effects which should be taken to consideration such as nausea and stomachaches. It must be started within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. If there a shortage, it may be limited to those individuals with underlying medical conditions. This is something that you can discuss with the provider.
JUST ANOTHER SHORTAGE
Thankfully viral respiratory illnesses do not require antibiotics. The mainstay of treatment is supportive care and time for recovery. As for bacterial infections, which require antibiotics, we are also experiencing an antibiotic shortage. We ask you to be patient with us and with the pharmacies as we try to make things work.
Parents should call their pharmacy when leaving the office to make sure medications prescribed by our office are available at their pharmacy. If they are not, please call around to find out which pharmacy has the antibiotic and we will then need to reroute the prescription.