By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twin Cities health providers say this is a worrisome time.

It’s prime season for flu, RSV, and now there is international concern for coronavirus.

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Cayden Clark of Baldwin, Wisconsin was born prematurely at 25 weeks. Life has never been easy for the 5 year old, but he fights hard.

“Nothing gets him down. He’s always got a smile on his face unless he’s sick,” grandmother Julie Korger said.

And unfortunately, he’s sick now. Despite his smile, he’s had a rough two days.

“Fever of 100-plus degrees, wanted to sleep, didn’t want to have any motions, kind of laid around lifeless, and then they did tests to find out he had influenza A,” Korger said.

Cayden is at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Despite the staff’s precautions, the virus is aggressive.

Cayden Clark (credit: CBS)

“Like every other hospital across the nation, we’ve been incredibly busy in helping our families navigate this viral season,” Dr. Madeline Gagnon, associate medical director of pediatrics at Gillette Children’s, said.

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Dr. Gagnon says even though there is current international panic over coronavirus, the real risk lies with influenza and RSV.

“It’s important to keep that in perspective. With the fact influenza is so virulent and contagious here in the U.S., and there’s things we can do about that,” Gagnon said.

She says everyone over six months should get vaccinated. And she says if parents are on the fence, they should go ahead and take kids in to a health provider.

“I would lean towards caution and being tested to know which virus they are working with, and to know and best tailor their treatment to support that,” Gagnon said.

And if one kid goes down, she says, ask the provider to give Tamiflu to everyone in your family, because there’s no place like home.

“I don’t want anyone to have to be here. I want everyone to be home with their family and not have to be here,” Korger said.

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Dr. Gagnon says the big takeaway is for everyone to get their flu shot. Even if you haven’t, there is still time. The season here goes into the spring.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield