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Medical Monday: Current COVID-19 threat as kids prepare to head back to school

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Health officials say COVID-19 is still a threat in our community and around the country. Infection control specialist Megan Meller from Gundersen Health System joined News 19 Daybreak to discuss.

(WXOW)-- Health officials say COVID-19 is still a threat in our community and around the country. Infection control specialist Megan Meller from Gundersen Health System joined News 19 Daybreak to discuss.

Cases of COVID-19 have been down across Wisconsin, but with school starting soon, respiratory illnesses generally increase among children and teens.

While it fluctuates, Megan Meller says people are still being hospitalized for COVID-19, with an average of 500 to 600 hospitalizations a week in the state. That translates to roughly 5 or 6 each week within the Gundersen hospital system.

With extracurriculars picking up and students gathering together again, Meller says it's the basics that are the best at keeping kids safe and preventing the spread.

"Like with any respiratory illness, know the symptoms. Overwhelmingly we're seeing people presenting with very mild symptoms. Sometimes its a headache, sometimes a cough or just feeling under the weather. So know those basic core symptoms and get tested." 

Meller says it's the same advice they give whether it's a cold, flu, or COVID-19; if you aren't feeling well, it's best to just stay home.

With recent upticks in cases of diseases previously eradicated through vaccination, like mumps, measles, and polio, the recent downward trend in overall childhood vaccinations has been concerning. Meller stresses that now is a good time to get your child up to date on all their vaccinations heading into the school year.

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