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Utah pediatricians say more kids are visiting their offices this winter

Posted at 11:00 AM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 13:42:50-05

SALT LAKE CITY — COVID-19 is grabbing most of the headlines but Utah pediatricians say they’re seeing another disturbing trend this winter. Kids are sick with a variety of other, upper respiratory illnesses.

RSV in particular began appearing in greater numbers of Utah children and a lot sooner in the season than normal. The good news is, health experts say the worst may now be over.

Carolyn Reynolds is the Director for community-based care for Intermountain Health Care and she believes it‘s critical for students to return to the classroom and to be learning in person. But that can also present challenges in terms of young people spreading viruses.

For example, she says pediatricians began seeing higher than normal RSV cases late last summer as opposed to mid-winter.

“RSV levels have come down a lot and COVID levels are coming down. The influenza has been out and that also is starting to really come down, maybe not as steep a curve as the others," said Reynolds. "Other viruses that we have Adenoviruses, rhino viruses, they are all still at a pretty high level but really have plateaued.”

Reynolds says it may sound boring but the basic advice still stands; If children are eligible to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID and have not yet done so, go ahead and do it.

And if they are comfortable wearing masks, have them do that as well, in particular when they are indoors.

Reynolds says it obviously comes down to parental choice but those are steps she recommends for keeping kids out of the doctors office or the emergency room.