BOSTON, Mass. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Last year, health experts warned parents about the potential for a twindemic – cases of COVID and the flu rising during the winter. Now, as families prepare for more holiday time togetherness, the threat of a tripledemic remains, which is three viruses circulating, that can make kids seriously sick.
From infants at daycare, to preschoolers and grade school students, your kids are, once again, in close quarters all day with other kids.
Massachusetts General Hospital pediatric infectious disease expert, Dr. Vandana Madhavan, MD, says, “Remember, also, they’ve had two plus years where they haven’t had that ongoing exposure to this virus and that virus, their immune systems are not on that same level of constant vigilance.”
All that togetherness means kids may need added virus protection. For starters, the updated COVID boosters became available for kids ages five to 11 in mid-October.
“So, this booster not only continues to protect against the original SARS-Co2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, but has a specific component that helps protect against Omicron,” Dr. Madhavan explains.
Dr. Madhavan says parents should also make sure everyone in the family is vaccinated against the flu. She says kids can get their COVID booster and flu shot at the same visit. Even if parents have waited until now, it’s still not too late.
“In many years, we see two different peaks of influenza,” Dr. Madhavan explains.
Finally, Dr. Madavan warns parents of children under the age of two to be aware of the symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. It causes cold-like symptoms but can lead to inflamed airways and pneumonia in babies.
There are no approved vaccines available for RSV, which spreads from touching an infected person, so family members showing signs of a cold, like a runny nose or cough, should avoid contact with young babies. One other note, since the flu shot may take up to two weeks before it protects against the virus, a flu shot now may ease the pain of a springtime surge.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Photographer.
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TOPIC: TRIPLEDEMIC THREATENS KIDS’ HEALTH
REPORT: MB #5147
BACKGROUND: A tripledemic consists oif three existing viruses/sicknesses. As children have less built immune systems they pose a greater risk as victims to these. Wi5Th restrictions lifting and travel back in full motion, a rise in sickness and viruses is estimated to take place this winter. Flu like cases have picked up sooner than normal and are estimated to sky rocket by winter. Many infacted young children are at a high risk for R.S.V. and influenza. Due to their low immunity levels and increased risk of infection. The viruses are suspected to either have dwindled or children were not exposed prior to the pandemic. It is important for parents to take children to the doctors immeditaekly if symptoms arise. If sicknesses are left untreated, symptoms will worsen and pose life threatening circumstances.
DIAGNOSING: Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Covid-19, and the Flu all have similar symptoms. These can consist of coughing, fatigue, sore throat, running nose, vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea in children. Docotrs will often prescribe tripledemics after a patient has experienced symptoms. Treatment options often include over the counter medications, but if symptoms worsen a doctor will prescribe a stronger prescription to fight the infecrtion.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: A recent decision memo was signed approving the vaccination of children aged five to eleven in protection against the COVID-19 virus. The food and drug administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech for children aged five to eleven and the Moderna Vaccine for adolecents aged six to seventeen years of age. The updated vaccines add new variants and protein portions to the pre existing vaccine that will target new variants and sicknesses. The Food and Drug Administrations recent approvals of these vaccines are important steps in protecting children against the tipledemic threats this coming winter.
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