RSV update

Guam vaccination clinic (PNC file photo)

Although we are starting to build an immunity to COVID, it is still an issue, especially for children.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bob Leon Guerrero says, “In the past month, we’ve seen a total of about 5 cases of COVID in children.”

He continues, “It’s not a disease like it was in 2019 to 2021 where children, when they had COVID either, had mild or no symptoms at all. We are seeing more serious complications with COVID with children.”

Influenza is another illness that is affecting children. Dr. Leon Guerrero says that within 48 hours of knowing the illness is influenza, doctors will prescribe Tamiflu, however; he stresses another, more important measure, “We can try to prevent it by having people come in and everyone from 6 months and above come to get their flu shot.”

According to Dr. Leon Guerrero, children respond better to the flu shot than adults.

Aside from COVID and influenza, the RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus affects children and older adults.

The CDC says that RSV can be dangerous for some infants and young children and can cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia. The early symptoms of RSV include a runny nose, a decrease in appetite, wheezing cough, or difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine for RSV, “They’re going to step up the manufacturing and get a vaccine hopefully by next year,” Dr. Leon Guerrero says.

Dr. Leon Guerrero reminds the public of the importance of washing your hands, wearing masks, and social distancing, “For the first 3 years of the pandemic, we hardly had any admissions for influenza or RSV because people were wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing. And just this year people are a little more cavalier. They’re not wearing their masks, they’re not washing their hands.”

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Jannette Samson is a broadcast reporter for the Pacific News Center. Her beats are lifestyle, tourism, and crime, among others. Aside from being a reporter, she is also PNC's social media and web editor. You can sometimes hear her reporting the latest headlines for you on Sorensen Media Group's radio stations and on K57. Some of Jannette's passions include art, beauty, and blogging. She paints, creates prints, and dabbles in various art media in her free time. Jannette is also a self-taught makeup artist. In addition to that, she is a visual artist. Her artwork was featured in many art exhibitions and galleries in Guam such as Imbentibu Famalao'an I at the Castro Art Gallery; Imbentibu Famalao'an II and Body Beautiful at the Lees-Reyes Art Gallery; the 2020 University of Guam Undergraduate Exhibition; and the Annual Research Conference Art Exhibition at the Isla Center for the Arts.