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Area doctors: Don't skip those pediatrician office visits

Pediatricians are sounding the alarm about another potential health crisis.

DICKSON CITY, Pa. — Pediatricians are reporting a drop in the number of office visits, and fewer parents bringing their kids in during this pandemic which means fewer parents getting their kids vaccinated.

Doctors call that very concerning.

"Some of the things we vaccinate against bacterial infections, but also measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox. If kids aren't coming in to get these routine vaccines, the incidence that they can develop in the community increases. We've had measles outbreaks in the last few years and those outbreaks are growing and that's with vaccines," said Dr. Rachel Giannotti, a pediatrician with Commonwealth Health Physician Network.

Dr. Giannotti understands some parents are afraid and want to stay home, but she said doctors and staff are working hard to keep offices sanitized.

Missing one of those well-visits and those vaccines may be a matter of life and death.

"Across the country, pediatricians and offices are really doing their best to keep everyone safe. The benefits of doing this really outweigh the risks."

Dr. Giannotti said some problems can be handled over the phone, but kids have to be seen by their doctors to head off any serious issues.

"This is not a time we want kids going into the ER, going in for admission, we if we can prevent those complications in any way, bring them in for their well visits, is so important especially now."

Dr. Giannotti said she is also growing more concerned about how this coronavirus is affecting some children, causing rashes, inflammation in some cases organ failure and death.

She and other pediatricians are keeping their eyes on that trend both around the state and the country.

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