Julia Jun / La Canada High School / 11th Grade
November in the US has seen a dramatic rise in childhood flu symptoms. Recently, seeing new diseases is not new to us, especially when new variants of COVID pop out of nowhere. However, a rising flu has been taking hold across the United States, RSV, which has made its way up among children and the elderly.
Respiratory syncytial virus, abbreviated to RSV is an contagious respiratory virus, causing inflammation and infection of the airways in the lungs which can potentially cause pneumonia and bronchiolitis in infants and adults older than the age of 65. Every year, RSV comes and goes in a span of a couple weeks and is mostly brushed off as a common cold, but for individuals with a weakened immune system, it can be life threatening.
RSV season mostly lines up with the flu season and was not a big cause for concern. Especially after strict COVID mandates, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “RSV activity in the United States remained very low through the traditional 2020-2021 fall-winter season but started to increase in the spring of 2021.”
This year, William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University states that, “COVID is out there, RSV started unseasonably early and is giving pediatric hospitals hard time in the sense that there are many children that need care,” and majority of the hospital beds are used for children coming in for the care of RSV.
It has been proven that this unusually high number of RSV comes from limited exposure of small infants to common infection whilst during quarantine. These cases in the offseason of the disease have been alarming to many hospitals who have to prepare for the lack of equipment and beds to carry these high numbers of sick babies.
So, how can we prevent children from catching what might turn out to be a deadly disease? The best we can do is just washing hands, covering coughs and disinfecting your house regularly. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have any suspicions, don’t wait until your child suffers for a period of time. As RSV vaccines are yet to come out, the best remedy is to try to stay clear of even the smallest dangers that make children susceptible to this disease.
So, if your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms, it might be a safe decision to get that checked out even if it is just a common cold.
La Canada High School / 11th Grade
<Julia Jun / La Canada High School / 11th Grade