Cotter Early Childhood Center

Flu, RSV, Other Viruses to be Aware with your Child

The news has been reporting the following information on the Flu, RSV and other viruses increasing in young children (especially toddlers and babies).

NBC news reported the following:

Babies and preschool-aged children are coming down with the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in ways never before imagined, Behrens and other infectious diseases experts said.

Why are RSV, other viruses on the rise?

Viruses thrive in populations that have never experienced them. It’s why small children are most vulnerable now to respiratory viruses. When the pandemic hit in 2020, those children were mostly home for their first few years of life, cocooned from viruses that, in general, strengthen their infantile immune systems. When they weren’t exposed, they were left vulnerable.

“What we lacked is a couple of years of little kids developing the immunity that’s needed to keep these colds at bay,” said Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “We may be in for a rough six or seven weeks with influenza and RSV.”

Indeed, “reduced population immunity to circulating respiratory illnesses, particularly among young children who may never have had exposure or been vaccinated, could bring about a robust return of flu and other respiratory viruses, like RSV,” Lynnette Brammer, team lead of the Domestic Influenza Surveillance Team at the CDC, wrote in an email.

The viruses are also popping up earlier than what would normally be expected. Even though the flu typically peaks between December and February, cases are rising steadily, especially in the Southeast.

When to Keep Your Child Home:

If you see your child is not feeling well or has a bad cough please make sure you keep them home and bring them to a doctor. After seeing the doctor please get a note that let’s the school know when the doctor feels it is safe for your child to return to school. Below is a link with further guidelines: