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Hospital emergency rooms and urgent cares are becoming overwhelmed

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As the triple threat of COVID-19, the flu, and RSV continues to spread, hospitals and healthcare facilities are beginning to feel the pressure.

According to CNY Central, Upstate Medical University’s Director of General Pediatrics, Steven Blatt, explains that parents always seem to first assume that their child has the flu.

He went on to explain that people usually use the term “flu” broadly to describe feeling sick, but there are many viruses that act the same as the flu but are not actually influenza.

Overlapping symptoms for the flu and other viruses include fever, cough, congestion, and in some cases trouble breathing. The first thing to do when noticing these symptoms is not to rush to the ER or urgent care, like most parents believe. What they should first do is contact their office to speak with a nurse or doctor and figure out how to provide home care. If you feel you do need to go into an office or ER, it’s best to call first.

Blatt said that parents should really bring their children in if they have difficulty breathing, dehydration, or if they seem lethargic. Those are the children in need of a higher level of care than what can be provided at home.

Flu tests aren’t something that can be purchased for home use, but COVID-19 tests still are. Parents should always test for COVID-19 to rule it out first. Next, you would contact your primary care physician.

Caring for a child with a virus at home is similar to what would be done at the doctors office. If your child is fever free and feels better for one day and the illness is not COVID-19, they can return to school or daycare.

Categories: New York StateNews