Respiratory Illnesses Among Children Increasing
Kettle Falls School District is sharing information about the rise in respiratory illnesses that are occurring among children increasing school absences. Co-circulation of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza viruses, SARS-CoV-2, and others could place stress on schools, childcare facilities, and healthcare systems this fall and winter. This early increase in disease incidence highlights the importance of optimizing respiratory virus prevention and referring for evaluation and treatment when appropriate.
There are several things you and your family can do to lower your risk of illness and spread of all respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, or with hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose where germs like to enter.
- Stay home when you are sick (even if it is “just a cold”) and isolate sick household members in separate rooms.
- Wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated settings.
- Limit the number of close contacts for infants, and individuals with certain chronic conditions.
- Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with a cleaner that is known to kill these common viruses.
If your child does end up getting sick, and you think they need to be seen, it is important to choose the right level of care.
- Call a nurse advice line if your health insurer has one.
- Call your child’s provider or after-hours service.
- Check telehealth (virtual medical visit) is an option in your area and on your medical plan.
- Consider urgent care if a higher level of care is needed, for example if your child has dehydration, pauses or difficulty breathing, poor color, or significantly decreased activity and alertness.
- If it is a true emergency, go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Current circulating respiratory illness.
Is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms.
- Runny Nose
- Decrease in appetite
Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.
The spread of RSV can happen during any of the following:
- Droplets from infected person when they cough or sneeze.
- Have direct contact with the virus, like kissing the face of a child with RSV.
- Touching a surface that has the virus on it, such as a doorknob and then touch your face before washing hands.
Contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes lungs. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly and often feel some or all these symptoms:
- Fever or felling feverish/chills
- Sore Through
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea
People with influenza can spread it to others. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people cough, sneeze, or talk. Flu viruses can be detected in most infected people beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five-seven days after becoming sick. The best prevention of seasonal flu is to get an annual flu shot.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms which range from mild to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
The possible symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of Breath
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore through
- Congestions or Runny nose
- Nausea or Vomming
The spread of COVID-19 can happen during any of the following:
- When an infected person breathes out droplets.
- Droplets land in the eye, nose, or mouth.
- Have direct contact with the virus.
- Some circumstances by contaminated surfaces, also known as fomite transmission.