"Twindemic" Tuneups

Oct. 11, 2022.  In recent weeks, public health officials have cautioned us to be aware of the potential for a "Twindemic" this winter:  ie, COVID-19 plus Influenza outbreaks.  Influenza has been detected in several other parts of the U.S. while Covid-19 has continued to be present in our region with other respiratory illnesses being noted at local pediatricians' offices.  Because of these, we encourage families to prepare with the following....

Vaccinate.  For those who are eligible, it's not too late to vaccinate for both COVID-19  and the 'Flu  

If unable to vaccinate or get a booster, please continue to discuss eligibility questions with your Health Care Provider.  If more than 2 months since your child had their last Covid vaccine or booster, now is a good time to schedule the Updated Bivalent Covid-19 Booster formulations for those who are eligible, as a single booster dose at least two months after completing primary or booster vaccination.  The Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Bivalent is authorized for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.  The Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine Bivalent is authorized for use in individuals 12 years of age and older.  Watch for CDC and FDA recommendations for children ages 5-11 once current reviews have been completed.

Check out the Northampton Health Dept. Covid Vax Clinic  and the MA Vaxfinder to find a vaccination site near you.

Consider signing & submitting this year's optional Consent to Test and Authorization to Exchange Info forms to facilitate coordination of care with your child's building nurses if not already completed.

Remind your family:  Follow Healthy Measures.

* Add Layers of Interventions as you add layers of clothing this fall and winter.

Handwashing, Handwashing, Handwashing!

* Cover coughs and sneezes in elbows.  Use tissues!

Mask Up when reported community rates of respiratory illness (Covid, Influenza, Rhinovirus, etc) begin to rise or when mild symptoms develop.

Self-Test for Covid at home especially if symptoms develop or, 5-7 days after a known exposure or, if planning to visit at-risk persons.  If exposed, please have your child wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days from the date of exposure and test as above.  

* If positive for Covid, please report to your Building Nurse, the Northampton Health Dept. Report a Pos. Test Site (covers 17 local towns & cities), and your child's Primary Health Care Provider. (PCP).  Have your child isolate away from other household members for at least 5 full days.  If improved without the aid of medication (ie, with no fever), your child may return to public activities (school) as long as they wear a well-fitting mask for 5 additional days.

      * Most cases of Covid can be treated at home with plenty of clear fluids, rest, and if recommended, some type of fever-reducer.  Contact your child's PCP if the symptoms become more severe.

      * If symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks, ask your child's PCP about Post Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV2 (PASC or "Long Covid"), an emerging science with potential resources available here.

If negative for Covid but symptoms persist or worsen, please contact your child's PCP for further evaluation.