The kid spikes a fever and is coughing. Two years in the past, you’d dose the child with Tylenol, hold her or him residence till the fever broke and keep watch over the state of affairs.
However this 12 months, things are complicated. Your baby may have a boring virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu, or COVID. However how will you inform the variations?
Dr. James Wood, an infectious illness specialist at Riley Hospital for Kids, and Dr. Chandy John, who’s the Ryan White professor of pediatrics on the Indiana College College of Medication, gave us some suggestions.
Signs that counsel COVID-19
There are two signs that time strongly to COVID-19: Lack of style or scent. Whereas congestion from different viruses could cause that as properly, a sudden, full lack of these two senses does counsel that COVID-19 is the virus perpetrator at hand.
COVID also can include a mixture of gastrointestinal and respiratory signs whereas it’s extra widespread for RSV to be respiratory signs solely. Different viruses, nonetheless, can produce a variety of signs.`
Signs that counsel RSV
An RSV cough can usually include extra of a wheeze as that virus tends to settle within the decrease airways, Wooden mentioned. Whereas COVID can produce such a cough, significantly in a toddler with bronchial asthma, it tends to return with a deeper cough relatively than wheezing.
RSV additionally tends to happen in youngsters youthful than 5, John mentioned, and normally these with circumstances extreme sufficient to require hospitalization are youthful than two.
Not COVID or RSV? What else may or not it’s?
Not solely is RSV circulating this 12 months at an uncommon time — it’s usually seen through the winter — there are many different viruses that may produce the summer season chilly round.
With ragweed season beginning, folks can also be having allergic signs that look quite a bit like these might be COVID-19 or RSV. One distinction: allergy symptoms don’t include fever.
In fact, colds and viruses can come with out fever.
Which COVID-19 or RSV take a look at ought to I get?
Fast antigen exams can provide a solution inside quarter-hour. If a take a look at is optimistic, Wooden says, it’s doubtless the kid is contaminated with that virus. A destructive take a look at, nonetheless, is much less conclusive. For flu and RSV, these fast exams normally suffice, John mentioned.
PCR exams, that are despatched off to a lab for processing, take longer for outcomes however are extra correct. With COVID-19, it could actually’t harm to get each exams, utilizing the PCR to substantiate the antigen outcomes. Some information means that even the fast exams do a reasonably good job at figuring out whether or not a toddler is infectious at that second, John mentioned.
How can I discover a COVID-19 take a look at?
As delta has pushed up the variety of circumstances, demand for testing has additionally elevated. Many industrial pharmacies carry out testing and the state is ramping up its testing websites. Most of the state vaccine clinics may also begin performing exams.
To discover a state-run take a look at, go to coronavirus.in.gov. Many websites supply each fast and PCR testing.
Many pediatricians and pressing care websites can carry out fast flu and RSV exams of their places of work.
The one place to not go until your baby is severely in poor health? The emergency room. Such websites are already overwhelmed.
Docs agree you must seek the advice of your pediatrician
Each Wooden and John, although, say seeing your pediatrician is vital.
Not solely it’s tough for a lot of mother and father to differentiate between these sicknesses, it’s additionally robust for pediatricians with years of expertise with out testing.
“At the same time as medical consultants on this, it’s very tough for us to distinguish the 2 simply on scientific signs alone,” mentioned Wooden. “It’s nearly not possible for folks to know the distinction.”
John agrees: “There’s no symptom triage that may assist a guardian say positively this one or that one.”
In case your baby is sick this fall, they are saying, name your pediatrician and count on to take the kid for testing. Group websites additionally carry out COVID-19 testing and plenty of medical doctors can take a look at of their workplace for RSV or flu.
Easy methods to get vaccinated
Go to ourshot.in.gov or name 211 to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated. Many websites additionally supply walk-in vaccinations.