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Know Thy Enemy: How Pediatricians Can Outsmart COVID-19 and Other Infections This Winter

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With the recent FDA emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine in children ages five to 11, the CDC expanded vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the U.S., allowing pediatricians and other healthcare providers to begin vaccinating them now.

However, even with children being vaccinated, staying ahead of variants and other common winter infections like the flu and RSV could prove challenging to pediatricians. With many pediatrician offices and facilities experiencing an increased influx of patients – and more expected in the winter – the right tools for testing are not just needed for proper diagnosis and care. They are absolutely critical.

Owing to COVID-19 protocols, the 2020-2021 flu season found most people limiting exposure to others and their germs, resulting in the lowest reported hospitalization rates on record for the flu. While this is by many measures a positive health metric, low rates of flu leave scientists with little data to guide them as they seek to identify and plan for impending flu variants and corresponding flu vaccines.

Furthermore, precautions are waning to prevent COVID-19 infection. State and local governments have relaxed guidelines, and with fewer regulations and growing fatigue with respect to mask wearing and social distancing, many medical experts believe that the U.S. will experience a difficult flu season this year.

Testing — and attesting — have become the hallmarks of this new era. From movie theaters to doctors’ offices, it is increasingly common to have to review and attest to the absence of a host of symptoms. If we are well, these testimonials are mere inconveniences, but if we are unwell, a rapid spiral of fear and confusion can occur since there are many overlapping symptoms. Is it a cold? The flu? Or is it COVID-19? This confusion is compounded for parents whose children may not be able to clearly explain their symptoms, leaving testing as the only reliable way to distinguish between illnesses.

Prior to the pandemic, people who feared confusing a cold and the flu may not have felt the need to get tested. However, in anticipation of the COVID-19 and flu viruses co-circulating this winter, the CDC is recommending that people with symptoms be tested for both. With some schools requiring health screenings to enter – and in many cases to return after quarantine or after presenting symptoms like a runny nose or cough – testing is of paramount importance.

In response, pediatricians need reliable tools to confidently diagnose patients during this overlap. A global leader in medical technology healthcare diagnostics, BD offers healthcare professionals a flexible menu of testing assays that are simple, fast and reliable on the BD Veritor ™ Plus System. Rapid, point-of-care combination tests, like those run on the BD Veritor ™ Plus System, are an efficient solution as only one sample needs to be collected to run tests simultaneously for SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and Influenza B. The BD Veritor ™ Plus System is especially useful for pediatric cases where multiple tests could be a scary experience for a little one.

The BD Veritor ™ Plus System facilitates timely and efficient diagnosis and care, which can help prevent disease from spreading. And because the BD Veritor™ Plus System produces digital display results for COVID and flu with just one sample and a single test, all within 15 minutes, it helps pediatricians save time and resources.

Pediatricians must be ready for this new set of challenges this season, and access to the BD Veritor ™ Plus System will be a critical tool in their arsenal.

To learn more about BD’s rapid diagnostic antigen testing for respiratory infections, and how the BD Veritor ™ Plus System can be used in your pediatric facility, visit bdveritor.com.

  • This product has not been FDA cleared or approved, but has been authorized by FDA under an EUA for use by authorized laboratories;
  • This product has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and influenza B, not for any other viruses or pathogens; and,
  • The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner.