Dayton Children's sees double the number of patients for respiratory illness
Right now, beds at Dayton Children’s Hospital are full of patients suffering from an unlikely culprit – rhinovirus. Rhinovirus causes the common cold, but it’s not normally seen at this level in late summer. In addition, it is causing asthma-like symptoms severe enough to drive parents to bring their children to the emergency department.
Last August, Dayton Children’s reported 97 cases of rhinovirus. This August, the hospital saw more than double that - 215 cases. Experts at Dayton Children’s say they have been in contact with the Ohio Department of Health and been told it’s a phenomenon happening all across the state right now. Hospitals in other areas of the country are also reporting higher than normal respiratory illnesses.
“Colds are spread by contact – person to person or by breathing in particles spread through the air by sneezing or coughing,” says Sherman Alter, MD, medical director of the infectious diseases department at Dayton Children’s. “People are most contagious during the first two to four days after they develop symptoms and may stay contagious for up to three weeks.”
There is no vaccine to keep children from catching this virus, but Dayton Children’s experts recommend a couple of things children can do to limit their exposure.
- Wash their hands – thoroughly and frequently, after blowing their nose, going to the bathroom or eating
- Cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with their arm, not their hands
- Use your own utensils and cups – don’t share
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