Pediatricians seeing uptick in RSV, COVID-19 cases as students return to school

Typical winter childhood illnesses like strep throat, hand, foot and mouth are already on the rise

Pediatricians with UT Health San Antonio say they have seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in children as well as a rise in other diseases.
Pediatricians with UT Health San Antonio say they have seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in children as well as a rise in other diseases.

SAN ANTONIO – Pediatricians with UT Health San Antonio say they have seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in children as well as a rise in other diseases.

“We’ve seen a spike in RSV, hand, foot and mouth, strep throat, and just the typical childhood illnesses that we are used to dealing with in the winter, but they are here this summer,” Dr. Karen Schwab, PhD, APRN said.

Schwab said there are certain things parents should be on the look out for.

“So RSV is an upper respiratory infection. It will present like a typical cold, stuffy nose, runny nose, cough, sometimes fever, and in adults that’s what they think, they have just a cold. But for infants and toddlers, it tends to settle in their chest. It can lead to wheezing and even respiratory distress,” Schwab said.

And while there’s no quick cure, there are ways to treat the illness.

“So it’s usually symptomatic. The number one thing is suctioning their nose, keeping them hydrated, giving them fever reducer medicine if they have a fever. But monitoring, monitoring, monitoring,” Schwab said.

Usually the community sees a rise in these cases in winter, so doctors say they don’t exactly know what to expect in the coming months.

“Yeah, it’s hard to know or predict what we’re going to see. And will it stay level? Will it expand ten fold? We don’t know what to expect. We’re just trying to prepare for it,” Schwab said.

COVID-19 cases among children have also been on the rise over the last month, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP says as of August 12, over 4.41 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Over 121,000 cases were added within the past week.

Doctors currently encourage anyone over the age of 12 to get the COVID vaccine, but there are other vaccines children and families need to know about. You can find what you need to know by clicking here.


About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.