The Iowa Department of Public Health noted in an update Friday that that state has seen an increase in respiratory virus activity over the past three weeks.
St. Germain said the biggest increase kids are seeing is parainfluenza, which causes croup. In the last few weeks of May, the group saw 15 to 20 cases per week; in recent weeks the count was 33 and 37.
“That’s usually a fall and winter bug,” she said. “And RSV would normally be at zero, and last week we were at nine cases.”
dr. Tricia Schmit, a pediatrician at Omaha Childrens Clinic, said she has confirmed only one case of RSV. But she too has seen a lot of croup, with its characteristic barking cough.
dr. Tricia Schmito
Omaha Children’s Clinic
That follows a really mild winter for the usual illnesses, she said, as more people were working from home, keeping their distance and wearing masks in public.
Precautions to prevent the spread of COVID even led to an almost non-existent flu season in the urban area.
People may also be more aware of ailments now, especially after months of procrastination. “So many parents come in and say, ‘We weren’t sick at all last year,'” said Schmit.
dr. Mikail Kraft, a pediatrician at the Methodist Physicians Clinic, saw his first case of bronchiolitis this week. The lower respiratory tract infection is something he would normally see in November.