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Who’s Bringing Illness Into the House, Continued

October 29, 2021  ||  by Matt Albasi

What’s Going Around in the West?

Respiratory symptoms like cough and runny noses are on the rise in states west of Colorado, Kinsa data show, despite those symptoms waning in the rest of the country. California, Nevada, and Utah show signs of increased RSV activity, and Nevada is also showing some signs of increased flu activity. Many of these states also show an increase in the number of fevers compared to this time of year in a typical illness season. Like we discussed last week, nationally, fevers are lower than expected for this time of year. Meaning some regions experiencing a higher level of illness is a sign that things are continuing to return to ‘normal’. But a return to normal also means the resurgence of flu. After record low flu levels in 2020, how, when and where flu will begin to spread is still unclear. But there is a simple way to be prepared for when it does: get your flu shot. Read more from our staff epidemiologist about all that goes into a flu vaccine before it enters our upper arms!

Household transmission direction for 2021

Who’s Bringing Illness Into the House, Continued

Last week, we discussed how the pandemic changed who brought illness into the household. In summary: during the pandemic, children accounted for about 50 percent of index cases — the first person to bring illness into the house — compared to regular illness seasons when they would be responsible for about 80-85 percent. Recently though, children have been responsible for about 85% of the index cases in households — a “return to normal” when it comes to who is bringing illness into the home. 

COVID Vaccines for Kids Approved by FDA

While most of those cases in the household transmission numbers are likely NOT COVID-related, children are still affected by the virus. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics data report, children made up a quarter of all COVID cases last week, while on average, they only made up about 17 percent of all cases throughout the rest of the pandemic. Meaning the vaccine for children under 12 can’t come soon enough, and luckily there have been important developments. As you may have heard, Friday, the FDA approved a lower-dose Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11. The CDC is set to meet next week and, if they approve, vaccines for children could be administered as early as mid-week

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