ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ahead of the holiday season, multiple respiratory illnesses are on the rise. Right now, health officials say they are dealing with patients impacted by COVID-19, the flu and RSV.
Doctors are warning during the holidays, cases of infections like RSV could likely continue to spike.
“The holidays tend to be an opportunity for the viruses to ramp up their activity," said Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
Hospitals have already been seeing an above average number of cases for this time of year. Health experts are stressing for parents to take precautions during holiday festivities.
“You can get RSV and other respiratory viruses if someone coughs right in front of your face – that’s pretty obvious," Dumois explained. "You can also get RSV if you touch an object that somebody else has just touched."
Dumois says its important for parents to be aware of their kids' surrounding and also practice healthy habits such as hand washing.
“Clean your hands before you are going to eat, drink or touch your face," he said.
Dumois explained although for most people RSV is like a cold, that isn't the case for everyone.
“Babies, especially those under 6 months old, they may get so much inflammation going down toward their lungs that they cant get enough oxygen and they end up in the hospital to get oxygen for a few days," he said.
You can find more information about RSV from the Department of Health in Hillsborough County here.