BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The symptoms of the common cold, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and COVID-19 are very similar in nature.
So similar, that when your child says they are feeling a scratch in their throat, you may not be sure what kind of illness they are suffering from.
Candice Dye, M.D, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Children's of Alabama, says these symptoms "can be mild to extreme and depending on the age of the child, but initially, it may it may all present very very similar similarly."
Fortunately, RSV is not a serious threat for adults and older children. In fact, RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although most people recover in a week or two from RSV, the illness can be very serious for infants and older adults.
One method to prevent you or your loved ones from getting ill is by simply getting vaccinated against these various illnesses.
"Getting your routine vaccines, getting the flu vaccine and certainly getting the COVID vaccine for it for anybody that's eligible," said Dye.
However, due to the lack of people actively seeking care during this pandemic, many people have put off getting vaccinated.
"It's very common for patients to come in for their annual visit and to have not been been seen in you know two years," said Dye.
She goes on to describe how a delay in annual visitations "comes [with a] delay in getting the, you know, the seasonal flu vaccine and then you know, even you know approaching getting the COVID vaccine."
This delay in care yields a delay in overall immunity. Therefore, if you do want to get your child vaccinated but are unsure how to tell your children, Dye suggest that you should first acknowledge to your children that vaccinations may be scary and may hurt temporarily, but explain just how much immunity and protection they will receive from their vaccination.