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Illness is Rising Among the Pediatric Population

February 25, 2022  ||  BY KINSA'S EPIDEMIOLOGY TEAM

Illness Is Rising Among the Pediatric Population 

After a brief plateau of national illness activity, Kinsa’s data now shows that over the past seven days, respiratory illness activity (cough, sore throat, fever) has started to increase in the Northeast, Midwest, and West, and South, largely driven by the pediatric population. The increased activity among kids is likely a result of several circulating respiratory illnesses like the common cold and RSV. 

% Illness, 0-4 year olds (National)

National illness activity remains below normal seasonal illness levels (levels observed at this time during pre-COVID years), and COVID cases continue to decline. The C.D.C. reports sporadic flu cases across the country, though test positivity varies regionally. States like Florida and Pennsylvania reported increasing flu cases this week. 

As the C.D.C. just announced that it's dropping its recommendation for universal school masking, we'll be keeping a close eye on illness activity over the coming weeks.

What’s Going Around in NYC?

Kinsa’s data shows illness activity is rising in New York state, including New York City. Illness is trending up in a few NYC boroughs, particularly the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, and Kinsa’s data shows that New Yorkers are predominantly reporting symptoms like runny nose and cough. 

The increased respiratory illness activity Kinsa’s data shows is likely a result of viruses that cause the common cold, since flu and RSV remain relatively low in the area. 

NYC was one of the first areas where Omicron peaked, and we’ll continue to monitor illness activity to see how more relaxed preventative behaviors (mask wearing and social distancing) will impact illness levels across the five boroughs.  

Readers, please note: One input in Kinsa’s HealthWeather COVID risk is daily confirmed cases as collected from state public health authorities by Johns Hopkins University. On the HealthWeather map, some states (like Florida and Tennessee) may appear to have lower COVID risk than they actually have, due to recent state reporting delays/ lags.

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