Health experts ask people to take action to lower risk for children as RSV, flu cases push hospitals to brink

State health officials are asking people to take immediate, urgent action to protect children and ensure there are pediatric intensive care beds available in Oregon hospitals to treat any child or youth with a serious illness or injury. Oregon health officials expect respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases to peak after the Thanksgiving holiday, which will further strain pediatric hospital intensive care units in the Portland area that are already at their limit.

In response to Oregon’s acute shortage of pediatric intensive care beds, state health officials recommend that people:

Stay home when sick.Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow, or with a tissue that you immediately throw away after use.Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, including doorknobs, faucets, chairs, countertops and tables.Regularly wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing into a tissue.Get a flu shot and stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including new bivalent boosters. There is no vaccine for RSV.Consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces.

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