BEND, OR -- With the rise in RSV and flu cases, the Oregon Health Authority urges parents to take preventative steps to keep kids out of the hospital. In a video released by the OHA, Mosaic Medical Pediatrician Beau Gilmore says upcoming holidays come with an increased risk of spreading viruses, "When we or someone we care about get sick, a natural reaction is we want to go to the hospital. But this year in Oregon and across the nation, hospital emergency departments are already filling up with people experiencing everything from respiratory symptoms to life-threatening injuries and illnesses." To prevent spreading germs this holiday season, he urges people to get their flu shot and COVID booster, cover your cough, practice good hygiene and hand-washing, and consider masking indoors. There is no vaccine against RSV, and the virus is spreading earlier than normal, this winter.
Dr. Gilmore says most kids will get RSV before they’re two, "It usually only causes mild, cold-like symptoms, like runny nose, coughing, sore throat - symptoms that are worse on day three to five. And most infections go away in a week or two." He adds, "If that happens for your child, stay home from work or school and avoid holiday gatherings, manage the fever and pain with over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. A humidifier and lots of nasal suction can help small children breathe easier." He cautions against giving an over-the-counter cold medicine to young children without talking to a doctor.
But, Gilmore says parents should seek medical care if those symptoms become severe, "These include trouble breathing, dehydration, gray or blue color to their tongue, lips or skin, or decreased activity and alertness."
Click HERE to view Dr. Gilmore's entire video message.