The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Seasonal illness puts students under the weather

Celena Birrueta Contreras
Many teachers leave masks and hand sanitizer available to students.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and cold cases have been numerous and quick to emerge this season, resulting in many absentees.

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), RSV cases spread across the U.S. earlier than in past years. In a Nov. 1 article, the NFID reported that children of various ages have been affected by this surge, putting a strain on schools nationwide. Carlmont is seeing the same spike in illness and, consequently, absences.

According to the NFID’s article, many factors have contributed to this phenomenon. 

After spending nearly two years hiding behind masks and staying indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, students have not been exposed to illnesses that they used to be familiar with, like RSV, colds, and the flu, according to Carlmont’s school nurse, Erika Quintana.

“Since we have been masking, our immune response is low, so disease is widespread,” Quintana said. 

Kathryn Gopz, a Kaiser pediatrician, noted another factor contributing to the spread of illness.

Health and Safety Infographic by Mia Molina

What’s happening is that a lot of younger kids are catching all these viruses, and then it ends up spreading to their older siblings or their parents,” Gopz said. 

According to Gopz, the optional mask policy, which is observed at Carlmont, is another contributing factor.

“If we still had mandatory masking, we probably wouldn’t see such a surge in all our cold and flu viruses that we’re seeing here,” Gopz said. 

However, this can also be a benefit because people can build up more immunity with more exposure over time. 

“Eventually, we will build up more immunity against all of these regular cold viruses that are going around, and hopefully, in the next year or two, we’ll be back to our normal level of holdings and viruses,” Gopz said. 

Carlmont students report many other ways to fight these illnesses and maintain strong immunity. 

Kara Cruz Monje, a sophomore, explained what helps her whenever she is sick. 

“I recommend drinking a lot of water and tea,” Monje said. 

To treat the coughs that come along with these illnesses, Gopz recommends using honey as a treatment. 

“The stickiness helps to coat the throat so that it’s not as itchy and scratchy,” Gopz said. 

To prevent the further spread of illness around Carlmont, students should ensure they are in good health before attending school, according to Quintana.

“The most important thing is to stay home if you are sick. That helps keep diseases from spreading,” Quintana said. 

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About the Contributors
Celena Birrueta Contreras
Celena Birrueta Contreras (class of 2025) enjoys playing sports and loves baking, has a dog and a cat that don't get along, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Mia Molina
Mia Molina, Staff Writer
Mia Molina is currently a sophomore at Carlmont High, and this is her first year in the journalism program. She is artistic and likes to create animations and short stories for fun. Over the summer, she was part of an art program where people learned and experienced the process of creating different art projects. She has experience in this field of interest and is looking forward to involving some of it in her writing and projects throughout this program. Twitter: @miavm_scotscoop

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Seasonal illness puts students under the weather