Non-COVID-19 illnesses on the rise among children

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The number of cases of COVID-19 is down due to vaccinations, but now other viruses are picking up.

Some are expected childhood illnesses, but others are surprising for this time of year.

As restrictions lift, people are out and around more people, not wearing masks and unfortunately that means there's more opportunity for germs to spread.

"The common colds that you catch from coughing on each other or sharing saliva or sharing food, it's all coming back again," said Dr. Katie Lockwood, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital.

Lockwood said they've seen an uptick in childhood illnesses over the past month - viruses like the common cold, the stomach bug and RSV, a respiratory infection which is typically seen during the winter months.

"The spring is an unusual time to see it, so we're seeing a little bit of a delay in seeing these viruses now," she said.

She said over the winter while families stayed in, kept distance and wore masks, there was a drop in the usual illnesses. Now, as kids return to school, daycare and other activities, germs are spreading again.

She said some of the common bugs are just part of growing up, but so is practicing prevention.

"Just reminding your kids that just because we've relaxed some of our COVID restrictions doesn't mean that we have to stop washing our hands. So washing hands is one of the best things and then keeping your child home when they're sick. It's not only good for COVID, but all those other viruses as well," she said.

And they are still testing kids if they have symptoms of COVID-19, especially if they have a cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell because those can be more telltale signs.

If your child has two or more other symptoms, it's recommended they get tested.
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