WellSpan Pediatric Medicine physicians across Central Pa. are seeing pink eye, hand-foot-and-mouth disease and viral stomach bugs.
They’re also seeing viral respiratory illnesses including RSV, influenza and COVID-19.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics says they are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, as well as other viruses, as kids are back in school, with varying levels of masking prior to this week.
They are still seeing relatively high numbers of bronchiolitis and croup cases. Strep throat and hand, foot and mouth cases are up.
Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about COVID-19 and masking:
“The Delta variant is more contagious because the replication speed of the virus, particularly at the level of the nasal passages, is a lot faster. With this ease of spread, the mask mandate was placed as a temporary means of thwarting spread amongst kids, many of whom aren’t yet able to be protected by vaccine-induced immunity. Delta is so contagious that without a barrier, close proximity to a COVID-positive person makes infection almost inevitable. The death toll for kids is rising with this Delta wave, even though the proportion of overall COVID deaths made up by kids is comparatively small.”
This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital and Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Cumberland County are seeing COVID-19, RSV, common colds, and hand, foot and mouth disease.