The school system’s announcement indicated “this person has not reported on campus so far this year, so no staff or students were exposed in the school.”
The discovery was made by pediatrician Steven Schulz as the state’s Finger Lakes School Roping Taskforce tried to explain the risks of coronavirus and the challenges of identifying it in children.
“COVID in children becomes much lighter. These symptoms are very widespread, ”said Schultz.
With students from the area settling in school, in person or in hybrids, they warned that coronoviruses may be harder to spot in children.
Area schools have detailed instructions and policies to get children in, and Schulze believes that existing regulations should be adequate for masks and social distance.
But they cautioned that the risk of false alarms, or camouflaged COVID, increases with symptoms similar to those encountered in cold and allergy seasons.
“A child with seasonal allergies may have watery itchy eyes, a slightly watery itchy nose, and some bit of sneezing,” he said. “If they suddenly develop a worsening cough, have difficulty breathing, or develop a sudden fever, this will certainly be a concern.”
Schultz says the biggest helpful warning sign would probably be a new fever, although given how well the region has done to reduce coronovirus numbers, it’s good that they smell really harmless.
“Right now due to community prevalence, there is a 99% chance that those symptoms are caused by a different virus that is not COVID and that is a good thing and a good place to start.”
At the same time, Schultz declared it more important than ever to get flu shots because there are overlapping symptoms of the flu and coronavirus and it is possible for them to both actually catch up and get sick.
“We can affect our healthcare system,” he said. “Not just with COVID but also with Flu and we saw what was the tension in New York City when it all started. Having both COVID and flu together can overwhelm it even more. “