(CBS Detroit) – With the flu season just around the corner parents and teachers may have a difficult time determining flu symptoms, from those of COVID-19 in children.

Doctors are now advising parents on what to watch out for.

Recent reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics says there are over 500 thousand child COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Over 70 thousand new cases were reported at the end of august, a 16 percent increase in over 2 weeks.

Dr. Scott Grant a pediatrician from a children’s hospital says, “kids across the country have been going back to school, there have been certain parts of the county that have reported increased numbers of cases of COVID-19 in children.”

Dr. Scott Grant a pediatrician with Children’s Hospital of Michigan says the increase of COVID-19 with children is due to them having more interaction with others.

Prior to schools restarting, children were mainly at home. Now that schools are back in session cases are expected to rise. And with the flu season quickly approaching, parents and teachers may have a difficult time determining the difference.

Dr. Grant says, “Unfortunately, the clinical picture that it creates when you have these infections can be very similar, so kids with COVID and flu will tend to have fevers, cough, difficultly breathing. There’s quite a lot of overlap between the symptoms of having a flu infection and having a COVID-19 infection.”

Grant says so far the main symptoms that contrast COVID-19 from influenza is the loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath.

Doctors saying there may be an increase in flu cases with kids because some parents are still skeptical about taking their kids to the pediatrician’s office for a flu shot.

Dr. Grant says, “It’s safe to go to your doctor’s office and it’s safe to have that flu vaccine.”

Doctors advise testing as the best way to rule out COVID-19 over the flu.

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