As COVID cases decline, local doctors seeing uptick in other viruses, respiratory illnesses in children

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 9:55 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - As COVID-19 cases decline in Iowa and across the country, health officials are starting to see an uptick in other illnesses in area hospitals.

Health experts say during the pandemic, with masks, social distancing, and other precautions, we kept most other germs at bay, including the flu and other viruses, but now with schools reopened, and travel resuming, they say we should expect a resurgence of viruses.

Doctor Tony Myers with Mercy Medical Center says that’s exactly what they are starting to see, but says the increase is typical for this time of the year. Things like allergies, asthma and respiratory infections including strep throat, as well as ear infections in kids are coming back now, after not seeing any of that for nearly a year.

In the hospital, Myers says they’ve also seen some COVID admissions with children recently. As far as flu, he says they didn’t have any significant flu cases from the season that just ended, and that the season that starts this Fall is going to be challenging.

“There are lots of people that think given how little flu was transmitted last year, that maybe some of the less aggressive flu lines were actually decreased to the point where we won’t even see them next year,” Myers said. “The flu virus basically had its source of ability to replicate removed for a year.”

Myers says he doesn’t think flu season will be as bad as a typical one, but says it’s important to continue with things like hand washing and staying home when sick. He also urges parents to make sure their kids adhere to their vaccination schedule and include COVID-19 once it’s approved for younger children.

Myers also says they are seeing a slight uptick in traumatic-type injuries related to motor vehicles such as bikes and four wheelers. He wants to remind people to as they get back out remember things like wearing a helmet.

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