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Upper respiratory infections increase in children in Rochester, signs you should see a doctor

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Cases of Influenza, Strep Throat and RSV have been rising in the Rochester area over the last several weeks.

ROCHESTER, MINN. - Upper respiratory infections are common  this time of year and Mayo Clinic says seasonal cases of influenza, strep throat and RSV have increased in Rochester in recent weeks especially among children. 

Health experts say it's even a bit early for some of these infections which is creating a challenge for healthcare professionals dealing with flu, strep, and RSV on top of COVID-19 as it still remains active in the community. 

RSV symptoms are similar to a common cold including runny/stuffy noses, fever, cough, and sneezing. 

It can be more severe for younger kids. For children under 3 or 6 months, parents should watch for signs of their infant working harder to breathe, faster breathing, or shortness of breath. 

“There's something called retractions - where when a child takes a breath, a parent can see the skin suck in between the ribs - all of those along with nasal flaring, grunting noises, letting us know that kids are having a difficult time breathing - those are situations where you would want your child to be seen,” says Dr. Marcie Billings, Pediatrician and Division Chair for Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic Rochester.

Dr. Billings says another sign they should see a doctor is dehydration. 

On top of good handwashing, she adds the biggest thing parents can do right now is make sure children are up to date on standard childhood vaccinations - including flu and COVID.

“Making sure that your children stay home if they're sick - and typically kiddos can go back to school/daycare when they are fever free for 24 hours without medicine - and they're feeling up to what they're supposed to do that day,” says Dr. Billings. 

She add  you should still refer to CDC guidelines for isolation for COVID. 

Mayo Clinic has expanded clinic hours. For more information, click here


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