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Alabama parents advised what to watch for regarding COVID and schools

More and more Alabama school children are heading back to class this week.

Students in Alexander City hit the books today. Many more Alabama youngsters began their studies earlier in the month. Healthcare providers are answering questions from parents on what to watch out for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. David Kimberlin is a pediatrician with UAB. He said parents should look for the same symptoms that COVID patients have had from beginning.

“It’s a respiratory virus,” Kimberlin said. “So, it’s respiratory symptoms, cough, running nose, sore throat, congestion, loss of taste and smell—not unique completely to the SARS-COVI-2 virus, the virus that cause COVID, but pretty suggestive.”

Other COVID symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. Kimberlin said are signs of COVID-19 that go beyond this list, especially since healthcare providers are dealing mostly with the Delta variant.

“Diarrhea…vomiting… we’re seeing perhaps less of that with the Delta variant, but I think we’re still very early into our experience with the Delta variant to know whether that’s a simply manifestation of what’s happened over the past few weeks, or is it something a little bit different with the virus,” he said.

The CDC says almost all of the current COVID cases in the U.S. involve the more contagious Delta Variant. Masking in school remains a controversial issue with some parents supporting the idea as a way to protect against COVID. Critics say it infringes on their right to choose.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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