Children susceptible to more illness if codetection finds Covid and another virus

Children susceptible to more illness if codetection finds Covid and another virus

Image source: Healthier, Happier Lives Blog

Children: There is still a lot to learn about the fatal virus, despite the fact that it has stalled since the 2020 Covid-19 epidemic.

Even now, researchers are working to better comprehend the virus.

According to a recent study, children under the age of five who test positive for another respiratory virus typically get worse.

They also get more illnesses.

According to research published on Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics, hospitalized children under the age of five who test positive for both Covid and other respiratory viruses have a doubled risk of developing serious respiratory diseases.

The study

When RSV, flu, Covid-19, and other respiratory infections filled children’s hospitals, research was conducted.

The results demonstrate the impact such viruses have on pediatric hospitals.

It also demonstrates how ongoing monitoring of Covid-19 and other viruses in circulation might aid in projecting future spikes in hospitalization.

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as from other institutions and health agencies around the country, conducted the study.

Firsthand account

Caring for children with overlapping respiratory conditions may be difficult, as Jenevieve Silva discovered throughout the pandemic.

Silva is a mother of eight and resides in San Jose, California.

She has had to cope with a slew of illnesses since her twin boys, who are toddlers, started preschool in May 2021.

“The height of the illness was from September through mid-November, when our household just could not catch a break,” she said.

Her twins tested positive for Covid-19 in October 2022.

Their pediatrician eventually diagnosed them with what they later developed as having another respiratory disease, perhaps a respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

“Based on what the pediatrician told us, she said, ‘I highly believe that they had these overlapping viruses,'” said Silva.

She also mentioned the following symptoms with the boys:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

In addition, one twin developed a temperature of 105 degrees for four days in a row.

Jenevieve Silva said watching her boys suffer was heartbreaking, despite the warm baths and Vicks VaporRub on their backs and chests helped them manage the discomfort.

“They had just looked so frail – they looked sick, like something deeper than back-to-back viruses,” noted Silva.

“It was hell. I mean, it was really bad.”

Read also: Covid-19 surges among senior citizens or ‘senior waves’

Aftermath

The boys of Jenevieve Silva have now recovered from the illnesses.

Although they are doing better today and have put on healthy weight, she is still concerned that their fevers may have caused them to develop asthma.

The doctor stated it appeared to have possibly induced asthma since October when the twins had overlapping infections, added Silva.

They then start to have asthma symptoms like coughing and possibly throwing up if they get a cold.

“I can’t be the only mom dealing with virus after virus,” Silva said.

“Be patient. Listen to your doctor.”

Data

The most recent research contains data on 4,372 kids who were hospitalized with Covid-19.

21% of individuals who were tested for other respiratory viruses had a codetection, meaning that additional viruses were also found in their test findings.

Researchers remarked that rather than coinfection, they were concentrating on codetection.

The child may not have been actively sick despite testing positive for the two viruses.

According to the study, detections of respiratory viruses were few throughout the first year of the pandemic.

While influenza codetections were scarce during the first two years of the pandemic, RSV and rhinovirus (or enterovirus) codetections surged during the Delta-predominant era.

The data showed that children with codetections were mostly younger than five.

Additionally, they were more likely to be admitted to critical care units and get increased oxygen support.

When children under two test positive for RSV while receiving Covid, they frequently develop serious illnesses.

Pandemic lessons

Dr. Ascuncion Mejias, an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said that the children she treated with Covid-19 and other viral codetections frequently required critical care and oxygen support.

“Covid is a very proinflammatory virus, so it really weakens your immune response,” said Mejias.

“And when you haven’t recovered yet, and you get a second hit, in this case, RSV or rhinovirus, you develop a more severe disease.”

The new study’s results, according to Dr. William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Disease, highlight the significance of keeping children up to date on their vaccines.

Mejias added her two cents, emphasizing the significance of safe procedures to prevent diseases from spreading to infants who are too young to get vaccinations.

“The pandemic taught us how contagious these viruses are,” said Mejias. “If somebody is sick, try to avoid contact.”

“These viruses are not only transmitted by saliva and secretions, but by hands. It can survive in your hands for more than 30 minutes.”

“So if you touch your mouth and then touch a little baby, the baby can self inoculate the virus and become infected.”

“So washing hands and all these measures are very important.”

Reference:

When young children test positive for Covid-19 and another respiratory virus, their illness may be much more severe, a new study suggests

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.

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