of children Hospitals in Louisiana have reported an increase in admissions earlier than usual Increase this year. And while Covid-19 is still present, SARS-CoV-2 is not exacerbating most admissions and ER visits, according to data from Children’s Hospital New Orleans.
Viruses that pediatricians see are very common.
Rhinovirus and Enterovirus
These viruses cause the symptoms associated with the flu. The two viruses cause similar symptoms and cannot be distinguished from one another on tests used by most hospitals.
Tests for these two viruses at two major children’s hospitals in New Orleans and Baton Rouge are coming back positive 40-50% of the time, accounting for most of the recent increase in disease.
These viruses are typically not serious in healthy children and are not responsible for many hospital or ICU admissions. Pediatricians say that children can usually recover at home.
It was enterovirus The subject of federal health advice Due to the increase in cases at the beginning of this month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that an enterovirus type D68 is causing a more severe disease, acute flaccid myelitis, a rare but serious neurological disease with leg weakness. Most hospitals do not have sophisticated enough testing to determine what type of enterovirus a patient has.
Flu season typically peaks in October, but Children’s Hospital New Orleans — Louisiana’s largest children’s hospital — is seeing positive flu results in about 1 in 5 patients who receive the test. Doctors recommend that children over 6 months of age get their annual flu shot by the end of October.
According to the CDC, 8% of the population gets the flu every season. The incidence of children is slightly higher, at about 9.3%. In some particularly bad flu years, the rate has been as high as 19 percent in children under 4 years of age.
One in ten tests at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans came back positive for adenovirus, which causes symptoms such as fever, sore throat, pneumonia, pink eye and sometimes stomach problems.
Federal health officialsInvestigation of the relationship between adenovirus infection and liver inflammation In some children, the cause is unknown.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is an illness that pediatricians say can lead to more serious admissions, including to the intensive care unit. At Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, the test positivity rate has been as high as 21 percent in recent weeks.
Newborns and children younger than 6 months are most susceptible to severe cases of RSV. Young children with other lung problems or immune system problems are also at higher risk.
Almost all children develop RSV infection by age 2. Most will improve and be released with supportive care within a few days.
Covid-19 is still emerging among children, although the rates are not as high as before. In recent weeks, 2% of Covid tests at Children’s Hospital New Orleans have come back positive.
Although children older than 6 months are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, most young children in Louisiana have not been vaccinated. 2% of children under the age of four in the state have received the Covid-19 vaccine..
The CDC recommends the following precautions to avoid most respiratory illnesses.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with sick people and when they are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the sleeve of your shirt, not your hands.
- Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If you have respiratory symptoms, consider wearing a mask around other people.
- If you or your child has trouble breathing or has sudden limb weakness, contact a health care provider right away.
- If you or your child has asthma, make sure you or your child are following an up-to-date asthma action plan.
- Stay up to date on all recommended vaccinations.