NH doctors see rise in respiratory viruses in children

NH doctors see rise in respiratory viruses in children

New Hampshire hospitals are seeing an increase in respiratory viruses in children.Doctors said the dominant virus is RSV, or the respiratory syncytial virus. They said it’s most dangerous for children who are 1 year old or younger. RSV causes airways to become inflamed and clogged with mucus, making it difficult to breathe. The virus typically appears in the winter season, but it has been circulating since late summer.RSV is not the only virus doctors are seeing.”There’s also been a notice put out last month about Enterovirus which could call paralysis and wheezing in children,” said Dr. Sharon Vuppula, pediatric specialist at St. Joseph Hospital. “This is the first school year where it’s starting to look like pre-pandemic, so I’m starting to hear that kids are getting stomach bugs and other fevers and viral infections.”Right now, some hospitals across the country are reporting high cases of RSV and some are at capacity for pediatric beds. Vuppula said while New Hampshire is not at that level, area hospitals are treating more patients with the virus.”That has largely to do with the fact that this is the first school year and first kind of fall, winter, where we really had an uplifting of restrictions regarding masking and social distancing,” Vuppula said. “Kids are back in schools without masks and doing all their extracurricular activities.”The news has area schools on alert.Laura Anderson, health care coordinator for the Concord School District, said her team is not only preparing for more respiratory viruses, but also a busy flu season.”The nurses have been coordinating for staff flu immunization clinics,” Anderson said. “And then we are coordinating with the State of New Hampshire for all of our flu clinics for our students.”Doctors said they’re also seeing more flu and COVID-19 cases in children. They advise parents to make sure their children are up to date on vaccines.

MANCHESTER, N.H. —

New Hampshire hospitals are seeing an increase in respiratory viruses in children.

Doctors said the dominant virus is RSV, or the respiratory syncytial virus. They said it’s most dangerous for children who are 1 year old or younger.

RSV causes airways to become inflamed and clogged with mucus, making it difficult to breathe. The virus typically appears in the winter season, but it has been circulating since late summer.

RSV is not the only virus doctors are seeing.

“There’s also been a notice put out last month about Enterovirus which could call paralysis and wheezing in children,” said Dr. Sharon Vuppula, pediatric specialist at St. Joseph Hospital. “This is the first school year where it’s starting to look like pre-pandemic, so I’m starting to hear that kids are getting stomach bugs and other fevers and viral infections.”

Right now, some hospitals across the country are reporting high cases of RSV and some are at capacity for pediatric beds.

Vuppula said while New Hampshire is not at that level, area hospitals are treating more patients with the virus.

“That has largely to do with the fact that this is the first school year and first kind of fall, winter, where we really had an uplifting of restrictions regarding masking and social distancing,” Vuppula said. “Kids are back in schools without masks and doing all their extracurricular activities.”

The news has area schools on alert.

Laura Anderson, health care coordinator for the Concord School District, said her team is not only preparing for more respiratory viruses, but also a busy flu season.

“The nurses have been coordinating for staff flu immunization clinics,” Anderson said. “And then we are coordinating with the State of New Hampshire for all of our flu clinics for our students.”

Doctors said they’re also seeing more flu and COVID-19 cases in children. They advise parents to make sure their children are up to date on vaccines.

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