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Doctors prepare for flu, cold season

Now with kids back in the classroom, health experts are preparing for an increase in flu and RSV cases.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As kids are now returning to school, some for the first time since they were sent home in the spring of 2020, we're hearing from one of our local medical experts on precautions for parents to keep their students healthy. 

That's not just from COVID, but also from other illnesses like the flu and the common respiratory virus called RSV.

Last year only one child under 18 years old died from the flu in the entire U.S. Now with kids back in the classroom, health experts are preparing for an increase in flu and RSV cases.

"We are expecting both of those things to surge because it always happens in the winter. But the difference is last winter, people were being really careful," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, the senior associate dean for health policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine. 

"They were socially distanced, they were wearing masks, we didn't have a vaccine yet. And now things are really quite different. So with the relaxation of the restrictions, plus the fact that virtually nobody got flu or RSV last year, we're expecting that both of those will surge and we're already seeing a summer spike in the RSV cases in kids."

Nielsen also says the best way to protect a child is by having them wear a mask when indoors in public.