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Common cold among viruses back ‘in full force’ as COVID-19 restrictions drop

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:00 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - If you’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately, some local doctors say it’s likely the common cold. Some say they are seeing an uptick in the number of patients coming into their facilities saying they think they have COVID-19, then finding out that is not the case.

Doctors said they believe the loosening and end to some restrictions like mask-wearing is adding to some of the other viruses making a bit of a comeback. As about everyone has experienced and as the name clearly indicates, the common cold is not rare, but there are indicators that it’s coming back at a regular clip after COVID-19 precautions during the pandemic led to few illnesses with other viruses.

Wesley Medical Center Family Physician Dr. Edward Lind said in a normal year, adults will typically get a cold two to three times per year with children catching colds six to eight times per year.

Ascension via Christi pediatrician Dr. Amy Seery discussed the correlation between COVID-19 precautions dropping and doctors seeing more of the other common illnesses.

“As people have been getting vaccinated and getting out and doing more things, we’re also noticing that some people who aren’t necessarily vaccinated are mimicking some of those same behaviors,” Dr. Seery said. “We’ve got people taking masks off, gathering in large family groupings, having Memorial Day celebrations. And what we are seeing is a resurgence of all those viruses that have just been waiting for their chance.”

Dr. Seery said now, more children are coming to her with respiratory illnesses, specifically, RSV.

“This is the virus that can cause bronchitis and difficulty breathing in very young children,” she said. “So, in the past week, a third of the children admitted to Ascension Via Christi hospital all have been testing positive for RSV.

Dr. Lind and Dr. Seery advise washing you hands, staying home and continuing to wear a mask in public if you feel sick.

“Wearing masks has had quite the effect on the spread of upper respiratory illnesses this year,” Dr. Lind said. “For the first time in my career, I saw zero patients this year with a positive influenza test. None. That’s just bizarre.”

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