With the return to school of thousands of children will begin the season of colds, flu and other respiratory illnesses. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over in Quebec and many parents are wondering: what symptoms justify a child being excluded from school or daycare?
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One thing is for sure, caution must be exercised, and employers will need to be understanding, as many parents could be called upon to stay home with sick children, and also, awaiting a test result for COVID. .
In recent weeks, there have been numerous reports of children excluded from child care for fear of COVID-19 cases. The time to receive the test result is sometimes long, and can take several days.
Some children have coughs, asthma, allergies. Rhinoviruses were also plentiful this summer, and some symptoms may resemble COVID-19.
For Dr. Caroline Quach, pediatrician, microbiologist-infectious disease specialist, you should not take any risk if symptoms similar to COVID appear.
“The idea is to keep the child at home, to have him tested, and then if the result is negative, to return him to school. Children under 5 tend to have a fever with COVID. If we are working, it is not to remove the child if he just has a runny nose. If he has a fever with cough, breathing difficulties, with a runny nose, in this context, we have them tested, ”explains the specialist.
«For school, if the child has a fever, if he feels bad with headache, general pain, irritability, great fatigue, that’s for sure we keep him at home and we have him tested . In daycare, if my child has a fever, I keep it at home, I have it tested. If he just has a runny nose, without a fever, it shouldn’t be COVID. Generally speaking, we should be able to send him to daycare, ”says Dr. Quach.
She ensures that all criteria will be determined by a committee for greater clarity and precision. These criteria should apply in all daycares and schools.
A few weeks ago, the Coalition Priorité Cancer asked that everyone can receive the flu vaccination in order to protect people at greater risk.
If this demand does not go ahead, nearly 2 million doses of the influenza vaccine will be available. This is a 34% increase in quantities compared to 2019.
There will not be a massive influenza vaccination campaign, however.
The population will simply be invited to be vaccinated.
This season in Australia, the flu hits less hard. The barrier measures put in place to fight COVID-19 such as social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands have made it possible to reduce contagion.
“When we put measures in place to control COVID-19, these measures also have effects on other respiratory viruses. When we look at what is happening in the southern hemisphere, we see that the other respiratory viruses, and particularly influenza, have much lower levels of activity ”, specifies Dr Gaston de Serres, epidemiologist at the Institute. National Public Health Service of Quebec.
The Quebec authorities also hope that the flu will be discreet in the coming months to better fight against COVID.