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New England as well as many parts of the country are experiencing a “tripledemic” surge of respiratory viruses – respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu) and COVID-19. Parents and families are understandably anxious and worried, and we are experiencing a higher-than-usual number of calls and messages into our practices. Please know we are here for you and thank you for your understanding that it may take more time for us to respond to phone calls and MyHealth messages. We appreciate your patience as we work together to get through this time.

To help support you and provide information about these respiratory illnesses, what you can do to keep your family healthy, at-home treatments and symptom management, as well as when you should call your child’s pediatrician, we have compiled the following resources for you:

  • A joint letter from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics reminding parents and families about steps you can take to prevent illness and stay healthy in the face of respiratory illnesses in infants and children
  • The CDC website provides helpful information about influenza (flu) as well as details about this year’s flu season, including rate and level of illness in the community, prevention, and the benefits of vaccination. At Atrius Health, our flu clinics will run through November 18. After that time, we will continue to offer flu vaccine at routine primary care appointments and at our pharmacies. Additionally, many local, retail pharmacies continue to offer flu as well as COVID-19 vaccination
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created an informative article about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), including signs and symptoms of RSV, videos explaining RSV and showing symptoms to look for, treatment, and when you should call your doctor. The CDC also has helpful information about RSV on their website
  • The AAP article highlights that RSV symptoms are typically at their worst on days 3 through 5 of illness, and fortunately, almost all children recover from an RSV infection on their own. However, call your pediatrician right away if your child has any:
    • Symptoms of bronchiolitis
    • Symptoms of dehydration (fewer than 1 wet diaper every 8 hours)
    • Pauses or difficulty breathing
    • Gray or blue color to tongue, lips or skin
    • Significantly decreased activity and alertness
  • The Cleveland Clinic has written a helpful article outlining unique symptoms of RSV vs. Flu vs. COVID-19, how you may be able to tell the difference, and what you should do.