Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause mild colds. We see them year-round, although like all cold/cough viruses, more in the winter. Most of us and our kids have already had 1 or more of the 4 mild strains that cause mild illness – cough, runny nose, fever.
COVID-19 is a new strain of Coronavirus. That means it’s something our immune systems have never seen before. However, because children are exposed to so many other viruses in the same family on a regular basis, they do seem to have some cross-immunity to this strain. Like how even in seasons when the flu shot isn’t a terrific match, vaccinated individuals who catch the flu can fight it off very quickly. A healthy immune system recognizes the virus quickly and mounts an immune response quickly. This may be the reason why there have been no pediatric deaths reported in any country.
Like other coronaviruses, COVID-19 will cause cold/cough symptoms, likely with a mild fever. Like other viruses, there is no treatment besides symptomatic care — Tylenol and Motrin, honey for coughs in kids older than 1 year, cool-mist humidifiers and suctioning for babies. Stay hydrated and comfortable. Like other viruses, there is a greater concern for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
The spread of COVID-19 in other countries has been worsened by people flooding the ER’s and clinic. Don’t do that. If you or your child has mild cold symptoms, stay home! We do not even need to see you in our office. Follow school guidelines for returning — no fever for 24 hours, no disruptive coughing, child feels well enough to participate. **We do NOT have a test for COVID-19 in our office.
So unless symptoms are severe, we urge you to not call for an appointment either.**Your child SHOULD be seen for:
— respiratory distress, including a barking cough, increased work of breathing, or cough that interferes with sleep or play
— A baby under 60 days with any fever (>100.4F)
— sore throat in the absence of cold symptoms
— ear pain for more than 2 days in kids older than 2y, or in conjunction with fever in kids younger than 2y
– – in kids 60 days or older, fever above 100.4 for more than 5 days
The chances are that COVID-19 is already widespread. US medical staff did not start testing in this country until last week and not tested many, because test supplies are limited.
Flu is still the major cause of illness in the pediatric population. Most of us at OHPA are seeing lots of kids with the flu each day. Getting flu vaccine every season is still one of the best ways to prevent severe sickness from flu.
Other keys to stay safe and healthy.
Wash your hands.
Cover your cough.
Call us for any concerns.
Stay tuned to our website and social media outlets. We’ll have updates as we learn more.