Another Health Related Matter “Concerns” MA Residents
Flu season is settling in and COVID-19 continues to persist throughout The Bay State and locally throughout The Berkshires and our entire tri-state region. Berkshire Health Systems and CHP (Community Health Programs) are urging parents to take any necessary precautions in safeguarding their youngsters from RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) which can be deceiving in many ways.
The disease has similar aspects to the common cold and could last two weeks. Children are more susceptible to a higher risk and in some cases requires hospitalization. RSV is also the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia which targets infants and young children who are suffering from underlying health conditions and seem to be the most vulnerable and this is causing concern in the medical realm.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control shared some alarming numbers as only about 4 and a half percent showed symptoms of RSV in March. Earlier this month, those numbers skyrocketed to over 296% as medical personnel paying close attention to this recent epidemic.
CHP Associate Medical Director Dr. Laura Need emphasized how serious the situation can be for those who are showing symptoms of RSV:
"The first years of the COVID-19 pandemic caused parents to protect their children against exposure to illness, which means very young children have not had the chance to build natural RSV immunity. As a result, some children are becoming sicker and require hospital care"
Another concern is there is no existing vaccine for RSV which results in the elevation of cases statewide. Berkshire Health Systems has been experiencing serious bouts of patients that have been impacted by this disease as RSV cases have escalated rampantly in the pediatric population. Numerous cases have been reported in our area including Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) in Pittsfield and Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington.
Parents are urged to take necessary precautions in keeping their children safe from any complicated matters. It is recommended that children who are sick should stay home until 24 hours after all symptoms have subsided, wash your hands frequently. try not to bring youngsters at crowded settings and if so, make sure they are wearing a mask as an added safety precaution. if a high fever or breathing problems persists, contact our pediatrician immediately.
Parents should also vaccinate their children 6 months and older with their annual flu shot and they should completely any necessary COVID-19 vaccinations, including follow-up booster shots. To learn more about RSV, log on to this website for some valuable information in keeping your family safe from this respiratory illness that has become a statewide and national medical problem.
The CHP web site also has some important information on this particular subject. Log on for more details by going here. For those south of us in Litchfield county, Connecticut it is advised you log on to Sharon Hospital's web site to obtain similar information.
BOTTOM LINE: Two words: "Stay Safe"
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