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KUNC is here to keep you up-to-date on the news about COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — Colorado's response to its spread in our state and its impact on Coloradans.

The coronavirus isn't the only virus circulating amongst school children in Colorado

Virus Outbreak Colorado Schools
David Zalubowski
Students in masks queue up to enter the building for the first day of in-class learning since the start of the pandemic at Garden Place Elementary School Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in north Denver.

Positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across Colorado, but health officials warn it’s not the only virus parents should be concerned about when sending their kids back to school.

Aside from SARS-CoV-2, children this season are being exposed to viruses such as adenovirus, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV.

Dr. Reginald Washington, chief medical officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, says that 30% of patients have some kind of respiratory illness. All of these viruses can be very contagious, so if your child is not feeling well, or having any type of symptom, do not send them to school.

“Please keep them at home so that they’re not exposing whatever virus they have, not only to their classmates but also the teachers and staff who can then take it home and infect anybody in the household,” said Washington. “Wearing masks and frequently washing hands are some of the most important tools we have for keeping these pandemics down.”

It’s also possible to have more than one virus at the same time, especially for children at risk, and many of the symptoms can be similar. Parents should treat the child’s symptoms at home, and then, if the symptoms progress, bring them to the hospital to be tested for the viruses.

Washington highly encourages vaccinations, either a flu shot or a COVID vaccine for those eligible, which will go a long way in preventing the spread of these viruses.

As a general assignment reporter, I stay on top of what is happening in our community and in our state. I make sure that my community in Northern Colorado can understand the information that I am delivering. I also host Colorado Edition and love to connect with listeners with knowing that they are choosing our station for the latest news and weather conditions.