"Viruses, like influenza, which causes flu, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) that causes bronchiolitis and parainfluenza that causes croup, we're seeing really low rates of those viruses this year," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases expert.
Fear and worry are normal responses when people perceive and experience threats. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought daily stressors over the past year, leaving many people with a sustained feeling of anxiety.
"That's an incredibly good number. I mean, when we look at our annual flu vaccine, the effectiveness of that is only about 50% to 60%. So this is incredibly good news that we have vaccines that are this effective," says Dr. Swift.
Make sure you have accurate information and understand related terminology to better understand COVID-19 and the spread of the virus. Below is a glossary of words that can help improve your COVID-19 knowledge during the pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is approved for people over 16, and the Moderna vaccine is approved for people over 18. While both vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in adults, the pediatric population is not yet eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for families, as children and adults have had to face stressors and adapt to change. Distance learning and the need for physical distancing from friends have been particularly challenging for children and adolescents. Trying to help them cope it their feelings and frustrations about the pandemic has stressed parents and caregivers.
"This program was amazing," says Bill, noting the constant communications via in-person visits, phone and a tablet. "Psychologically, it was wonderful because we could be together in our home and not the hospital."
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants are expected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These three variants appear to spread COVID-19 more easily, but there is no evidence that they cause more severe illness or increase risk of death.
It's been a year since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in the U.S. Since then the U.S. has seen more than 25 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 400,000 deaths. This has taken a significant emotional toll on the nation.