The current flu outbreak is fairly impressive. Both fluA and fluB. Almost seems worse than what I remember last year during H1N1 outbreak. If your child has a runny nose, chills, fever, sneezing and a cough- most likely has the flu.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a commom virus that we see typically December through March. Symptoms are fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, and very rarely, wheezing. Most patient who get RSV are fine. In fact, I would say that a majority of people get a RS like virus every winter. However RSV strikes fear in alot of parents, daycares, schools, etc. b/c it can cause significant resp symptoms in very small babies.
I will often have a panicked parent calling the office saying that another child at daycare has RSV and what should we do? Essentially that other child has a bad cold. I typically do not test for RSV b/c the treatment options for RSV and other viral illnesses that cause wheezing are about the same--no treatment. The child is sick for 5 days, then gets better. This is probably 95% of all cases.
Yes, some babies end up in the hospital with RSV, and some can get very, very sick. Some can die. However that is rare compared to the total number of kids exposed. Really, RSV can cause more morbidity and mortality in the elderly.
So if your child has a cold,and you think it may be RSV when should you bring them in? High fever, not eating, difficulty breathing. This is not a complete review of RSV, but hope it helps calm and reassure some anxious moms who are worried about exposing their child at daycare and other locations.
I will not have a Sat clinic today but will be available for a Sunday clinic. Please go to the Tulsa Pediatric Urgent Care (895-7808) or to the Saint Francis Hospital ER if your child is sick and must be seen today.
Did you know that scarlet fever is the rash that is associated with the bacteria that causes strep throat? Your child can have scarlet fever without strep throat but is rare. Either way, both strep and or scarlet fever are easily treated with antibiotics.