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Children’s Hospital Colorado sees early rise of respiratory viruses, along with spiking COVID-19 cases

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Children's Hospital Colorado-Colorado Springs is starting to notice a rise in respiratory viruses months earlier than normal, as they also see a rise in COVID-19 cases among children.

Normally, they see a rise in respiratory viruses, like RSV and Rhinovirus, around November or December. However, this year is different.

Dr. Mike DiStefano, the Chief Medical Officer at Children's Hospital Colorado-Colorado Springs, said one theory that might explain the early rise in other respiratory viruses could be the pandemic.

"It's still unclear why it happened. Our infectious disease doctors don't really understand why we're in such unprecedented times in our healthcare industry to really truly understand why we're seeing these respiratory and winter viruses and in the summer and fall time," Dr. DiStefano said.

Since many of these viruses present similarly, Dr. DiStefano recommends treating a cough or runny nose like COVID-19 until you're able to get a test.

"What we are seeing a lot of times in the very early stages are families saying I thought my child had a sinus infection, so they had a little bit of nasal drip, and then started having fever a day later, and then tested then for COVID, it sort of puts them behind the eight ball," Dr. DiStefano said.

The uptick in respiratory viruses isn't currently impacting capacity at Children's Hospital Colorado, however, the staff there is prepared for that possibility as the highly infectious COVID-19 Delta Variant also spreads.

They are prepared to send patients home with oxygen or even pause elective surgeries if the situation becomes dire enough, but officials say we're not close to that right now.

The best tool to keep capacity under control at Children's Hospital Colorado is taking steps to prevent the spread of these respiratory viruses -- things like washing your hands, social distancing, and masking up.

"There have been a lot of statements around masks causing mental health, there is no data to support that -- from a research perspective," Dr. DiStefano said. "What we do know is that the social isolation caused by quarantines, and homeschool or hybrid learning, some of the things that we went through last year, were definitely a problem for our kids."

Dr. DiStefano said that wearing masks and taking measures to prevent the spread can lead to kids being able to spend more time together and can improve their mental health.

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Sydnee Stelle

Sydnee is an MMJ for KRDO NewsChannel 13. You can learn more about her here.

Comments

14 Comments

  1. I’m sure some people will come up with a theory that hand washing can be harmful before too long. They manage to find fault in every other reasonable precaution, but never come up with a better solution.

  2. Huh? Maybe because the kids have been locked away for the last year and a half, their immune system has not been exposed to anything so now it is weak. Nature is what nature does, we should just let kids be kids, colds, flu, cough, and yes even COVID, it’s not hurting them!

  3. Wow. I can tell you why we have seen an increase in respiratory infections. This is what our doctor told us also. The fire smoke that has been constant in the air around here. It agitates the lungs and then they are beat down allowing other infections to take hold that would normally be fought off. It is an overload on the immune system.

  4. They still talk about masks for kids when there have been several studies that have shown that when worn properly masks are only 10-15% effective. And 99% of kids do not wear mask properly and so the effectiveness is then severely diminished to almost nothing.
    I am glad they did admit that e-learning, home school and hybrid learning are the biggest affect on kids mental health. Kids need to be in school and need to be able to socialize. Kids learn better in a group setting. So many kids are way behind in their learning from last year, many should have to repeat the last year because they are so far behind. Kids who were doing in person learning are far ahead of them.

  5. Air quality has stunk on the front range this year due to all the wildfires on the left coast.

  6. America could probably get a better handle on covid-19 if Biden the demented fraud puppet and the radical Marxist Democrats that now occupy our government would stop flooding America with millions of unvaxed and untested illegal immigrants. Until that happens it is all a farce.

    1. Take your baseless Marxist comments and put them back where you pulled them from. You spend far too much time paying attention to fraudulent theories when you should be dealing with Covid facts.

  7. So they see a rise? What is the respiratory problem? Does it have a name? Sure it does or they do.so says Dr. DiStefano…give us the facts not your theory…PROOF! Probably COVID related…NOT! Just another scare tactic trumped up (no pun intended) by the experts. COVID cases rising/ Thats because there is no flu…everything is COVID! And I agree with the folks on air quality and a year in masks…you are destroying the youth of America!

    1. Dr. DiStefano is the Chief Medical Officer of Children’s Hospital. He’s a lot better qualified to make good judgement calls on this topic than either you or me. If you continue to refuse to respect the real experts, you’re the one who has a real problem.

      1. Whatever Check…he is paid to say what he says…why would he risk his career for telling the truth? And yes I will continue to refuse and respect real experts until they are proven to be real experts. And thank you because your problem is obvious also…you will be exposed with the others…FACT!

    1. Correct. But it can exacerbate various respiratory conditions, such as asthma and other allergic reactions. They can make patients more susceptible to other infections.

  8. And here is my Binary for the day:
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