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Pediatricians, parents weigh in on COVID-19 uptick ahead of going back to school

'Don’t panic, because this particular strain is not a severe strain for children,' Dr. Lynda Bideau says
Lynda Rysavy and her family Disney August 2023.png
Posted at 3:49 PM, Aug 02, 2023

JUPITER, Fla. — As kids get ready to head back into the classroom, COVID-19 is once again back in the news. A reported uptick in cases means it’s on the radar for pediatricians and parents alike.

“After three-and-a-half years of taking every precaution necessary to not get COVID, we started to let our guard down and started to live life," said Lynda Rysavy. "Now everyone in the family has COVID just in time to start school."

Rysavy is a mother to a 3-year-old and an 8-month-old. She tested positive for COVID-19 but said she doesn't have many symptoms. It's made it slightly easier to take care of everyone else.

"Everyone in the family is running about 102 fever, runny nose, aches and chills," she said.

Testing, she said, wasn't necessarily top of mind either when her oldest son got sick.

"I happened to be cruising on the Jupiter Mamas [Facebook] group and seeing that more people are reporting they are either having COVID or strep," she said. "I'm like, well, we just had strep last week, so let me just test him for COVID."

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Lynda Rysavy shares how she and her family are dealing with COVID ahead of the new school year.

As kids go back to the classroom, longtime pediatrician Dr. Lynda Bideau said illnesses will follow.

"We see a big increase in strep throat when they go back to school," Bideau said. "We will see respiratory infections. Of course, COVID is a respiratory infection, so I am expecting to see more COVID when they go back."

Bideau described the symptoms she's been seeing recently.

"Current COVID right now actually is like a really bad cold," she said. "Children are getting a fever for one or two days. The babies are fussy. There might be some vomiting involved, abdominal pain, but it is not like the original strain where they are getting very ill."

Dr. Lynda Bideau August 2023 COVID
Dr. Lynda Bideau says she's seeing in uptick in kids getting colds but not testing for COVID.

She said the virus may be more prevalent than we know.

"We are seeing a lot of children with colds that we are probably not testing," she said. "So, there is probably more out there than we know, but we are definitely seeing an uptick."

Her advice to parents is to stay calm.

"Don't panic, because this particular strain is not a severe strain for children," Bideau said.

Still, some moms can't help but wonder.

"I think it's going to be a very difficult start to school," Rysavy said.