Increase in sick children following first week of school

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) El Paso physicians said they are seeing more sick children following the first week of school with children returning to the classroom for in-person learning.

Fatima Gutierrez, a pediatrician with Texas Tech Physicians, said there has been an uptick in upper respiratory viruses.

“It’s definitely been busy for all physicians pediatricians and hospitals as well,” Gutierrez said.

The pediatrician said many illnesses they are seeing include RSV, bronchiolitis, which is a common lung infection and other winter-like illnesses.

“We also do have more covid-positive kids that have been coming into the hospital,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said she thinks with kids back in the classroom and some not wearing masks, it’s easier for illnesses to spread than before school started.

Jose Luis Salas, the Director of Infection Control at El Paso Children’s Hospital, said although some children are testing positive for COVID-19, the majority of illnesses are other upper respiratory viruses that have symptoms similar to the virus.

“In essence, we are seeing an increase of respiratory diseases because now we are testing more frequently than what we would normally do than when you have a common cold and ride it out at home,” Salas said.

Physicians said parents should practice preventative methods like teaching their children to wash their hands frequently at school, wear a mask, and get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine if they are eligible.

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