parents won't

1 in 3 parents won’t get flu shots for their child during Covid-19, study finds – CNN

(CNN)One-third of American parents have no plans to get their children vaccinated for the flu this year, according to the National Poll on Children’s Health released Monday, despite the very real possibility their child could also catch the deadly Covid-19.

In addition, two-thirds of parents don’t believe getting a flu shot for their child is more important this year, despite advice to the contrary from major government organizations and pediatricians.
“Children younger than 5 years old — especially those younger than 2 — are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, adding that getting a flu shot during the pandemic — for all ages — is more important than ever.
“We may see peaks of flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which could overwhelm the health care system, strain testing capacity and potentially reduce our ability to catch and treat both respiratory illnesses effectively,” said Sarah Clark, associate director of the poll done by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Michigan Medicine, in a statement.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, once again stressed the importance of getting a flu shot this year, while speaking during the CITIZEN by CNN Conference on Tuesday.
“You should get it no later than the end of October,” he told the moderator, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “If it’s available now, you should get it now.”
“Don’t wait until any time beyond October,” he added.

Flu is deadly

Children die from the flu every year — last year there were 188 pediatric flu deaths reported during the 2019-2020 flu season. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to the CDC, because many deaths from flu are not reported.
For example, the same number of children — 188 — died from the flu during 2017-2018, but based on statistical modeling, the CDC believes 600 children died.
Illness from influenza is much more serious than that of a cold, the CDC warns, saying that many children need to be hospitalized. Between 7,000 and 26,000 children under 5 in the United States are hospitalized from flu-related illness each year.
Besides death, the CDC says serious complications from flu include:
  • Swelling of the brain, called encephalopathy
  • Dehydration, where the child loses too much water and salts, which can also be deadly
  • Pneumonia, which kills a child every 39 seconds around the world, according to UNICEF
  • Making existing medical problems worse, such as asthma or heart disease
  • Increasing incidence of ear infections and sinus problems
Symptoms for influenza and Covid-19 are similar — a cough that gets worse, fever, body aches, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose — making it hard for doctors to know which to treat.
“We may see peaks of flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which could overwhelm the health care system, strain testing capacity and potentially reduce our ability to catch and treat both respiratory illnesses effectively,” Clark said.
While few children have died from Covid-19 — so far — there have been tragic cases: A baby died in China early in the pandemic, followed by another infant in the US in March. Nine-year-old Kimora “Kimmie” Lynum died in Florida in July, followed in August by a 6-year-old. Also in August, a 1-year-old with medical issues died in Georgia.
The numbers of cases of Covid-19 are rising, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that is updated weekly.
There were 74,553 new cases of Covid-19 in children between September 3 and 17 — a 15% increase in just over two weeks — for a total of 587,948 cases of coronavirus in children in the United States, the AAP data showed.

Vaccine wary

Families who didn’t get their child vaccinated against the flu last year were also the least likely to plan to get their kids children vaccinated this year. Those parents expressed concerns about side effects of the flu vaccine or said they believed the flu shot isn’t necessary or effective.
“There is a lot of misinformation about the flu vaccine, but it is the best defense for children against serious health consequences of influenza and the risk of spreading it to others,” Clark said.
In comparison, 96% of parents who did obtain a flu shot for their child in 2019 said they intended to do the same this year.
“A key challenge for public health officials is how to reach parents who do not routinely seek seasonal flu vaccination for their child,” she said. “When getting a yearly flu vaccine is not a pattern, parents need to be prompted to think about why it’s essential for their child to get vaccinated.”
About 14% of parents said they were keeping their child away from a doctor’s office due to fears of catching Covid-19. However, Clark said, most health care practitioners have implemented safety procedures.
“Parents who are concerned about COVID exposure should contact their child’s provider to learn about what types of precautions have been put in place,” she said in the statement.

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Doctors parents

Doctors warn parents to look out for symptoms of rare, mystery illness in kids that could be linked to coronavirus – KPRC Click2Houston

So far, about 85 children around the country are believed to have this illness

HOUSTON – Some children in the US are getting sick from a mysterious illness believed to be related to COVID-19 and officials want parents around the country to be aware. While Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome is rare, doctors and researchers are on an urgent search for answers.

“It’s possible that these cases were coming in and not diagnosed as related to COVID because they don’t appear as COVID-19,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a press conference.

Cuomo announced the state is investigating two more deaths after three children were already confirmed to have died from the rare sickness.

Symptoms of this rare illness

Doctors are alerting the public to a range of symptoms to look out for.

“If they have a child with a fever for more than three days and have these abdominal symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, severe belly pain, that would be the time to call your pediatrician,” said Dr. James Schneider, Chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

The symptoms are mirroring more commonly-known inflammatory illnesses like Kawasaki Disease and toxic shock syndrome. Other states have reported similar illnesses.

Other cases of this rare illness include four patients at Boston Children’s Hospital, an estimated five to 10 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, three at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, three at Nemours Children’s Health System in Delaware, three at Ochsner Medical Center in Louisiana and one at Seattle Children’s Hospital, according to a report by NBC News.

Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., has also reported two patients, but it has 15 more children in intensive care with some kind of massive inflammatory response to COVID-19. It’s unclear whether all of those patients indeed have the pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

“It may be possible and it may be probable that this is a problem that exists in other states and we want to make sure that they are aware of it,” Cuomo said.

Illness might develop later

The newly identified syndrome appears to be the result of a child’s immune system going into overdrive after a COVID-19 infection. Experts know this can develop up to six weeks after the coronavirus infection even if children who did not know they had COVID-19. We learned last week that some COVID-19 patients were left with heart damage, including some kids.

It’s important to remember, this is very rare and most kids do recover. Doctors say there is no way to know which kids are at risk.

Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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