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As RSV cases surge, PeaceHealth Oregon offers information about when and where to seek care

November 22, 2022 | News

Young woman on couch feels forehead of baby on her lap while making a phone call.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – PeaceHealth is seeing a large number of patients with the respiratory virus RSV in its outpatient clinics and emergency departments throughout Lane County.

This seasonal virus has arrived earlier than usual this year. Symptoms often are similar to a cold—cough and runny nose--and usually can be treated like a common cold. But the illness can be serious, especially in babies and older adults.

“People are aware of the spike in RSV, and we’re hearing from a lot of families who have questions and concerns,” said Dr. Serena Black, a pediatric hospitalist at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center and PeaceHealth’s medical director for children’s services.

Contact your child’s doctor, or seek emergency care, if you see any of these symptoms:

  • Temperature of over 100.4 in babies younger than 2 months old
  • Difficulty breathing—breathing much harder or faster than usual
  • Signs of dehydration—not drinking enough fluids, fewer wet diapers than usual

“The elderly also are at risk of complications from RSV,” said Dr. Margaret Pattison, medical director of the emergency department at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

“Older adults should be evaluated by a health care provider if they’re having trouble breathing, are dehydrated, or are feeling extremely weak,” she said.

Demand for services is high across the health care system, because of respiratory viruses, the surge in RSV, and COVID-19 is still present in our communities.  

“The best things everyone can do is to get their flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine, wash their hands, wear masks when appropriate and stay home when they’re sick,” Dr. Pattison said.  

To reserve hospital emergency departments for emergency health issues, PeaceHealth Oregon asks those with non-emergency health issues to consider visiting their primary care physician or a same-day or urgent care clinic.

“Please know that our team will treat everyone who visits our emergency department, but those with non-emergency needs will likely have a longer wait before we can care for them,” Dr. Pattison said.

PeaceHealth Oregon’s hospital emergency departments are open around-the-clock to provide immediate care for those experiencing life-threatening or emergency medical issues. More information about our urgent care and primary care locations can be found here

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at