DENVER (KDVR) — While the omicron variant continues to infect Colorado’s school children, metro-area doctors say there are other viruses also circulating around our classrooms right now.
In and around Denver, there’s one other virus that’s actually more prevalent in our school children than COVID. According to the chief medical officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, that illness is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
RSV can make it difficult for children to breathe.
“RSV is very contagious and very prevalent in the school system as well as throughout daycare centers and in homes. So RSV is certainly the winner. COVID is increasing in its prevalence. It’s not making children as sick as it has been in adults, but there are some children, particularly those at risk — those would be kids who are obese, have chronic kidney or heart disease or have other respiratory illnesses — tend not to do as well with COVID,” said Dr. Reginald Washington.
While RSV is the top virus impacting Colorado’s kids right now, doctors say COVID is a close second.
Third, according to experts, would be the adenovirus, which has similar properties and symptoms to COVID and RSV.
“The one thing I’m concerned about is if a parent gets a test on their child for COVID and it’s negative, they assume they can let their guard down when they really can’t because these other viruses can be equally as serious,” said Dr. Washington.
While RSV, COVID and adenovirus cases continue to climb, healthcare professionals say the number of children being infected with the flu is actually flat. Doctors were expecting more influenza cases at this point.
When it comes to determining which virus your child is dealing with, experts say the one thing that stands out about COVID over RSV and the adenovirus is a higher likelihood your child will lose their scent and taste.
That said, doctors suggest you don’t try to self-diagnose your kid’s illness.
Instead, they recommend you simply treat any symptoms.