“We suspect that many children are now exposed to certain respiratory viruses for the first time, because they avoided them during the pandemic”, thanks to the measures then put in place (masks, confinements, etc.), explained Friday 4 November José Romero, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
This phenomenon has also been observed elsewhere in the world, including in France, a country which is facing a major epidemic of bronchiolitis. The most common cause of bronchiolitis is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.
More and more hospitalizations for the flu
Symptoms can be similar from disease to disease, and although most patients recover within a week or two, certain populations such as young children or the elderly are at risk of developing severe cases. The system for monitoring emergency and outpatient visits for cold-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, etc.) records “high activity in the United States for this time of year”, said José Romero during of a press conference. “We are seeing the highest rate of flu-related hospitalizations in a decade,” he added. Two children died. If a child has difficulty breathing, muscle pain, or is dehydrated (dry lips…), it is important to take him to the doctor, he stressed.
It’s still unclear whether the flu virus circulating this year is causing more severe cases of the disease, experts say, but the epidemic season started particularly early. And the United States is still registering more than 270,000 cases of Covid-19 per week.