‘The key is to stay hydrated’: Health officials discuss treating viruses at home to try and prevent ER visit

Harris County Public Health Department said they were not expecting to see this volume of viruses for at least a month.

As the Flu, COVID and RSV surge across the country, and once again place burden on the healthcare system, they advise you to know how to treat the viruses versus when to go to the ER.

When it’s considered an emergency

“If we’re feeling short of breath, having difficulty breathing, especially with our little ones, if our little ones are dehydrated, they’re unable to keep anything down, especially liquids, and again they are having difficulty breathing, we absolutely want to get them checked out,” local health authority Dr. Ericka Brown said.

In most cases, Brown said patients will recover in a week or two at home with any of the viruses.

How can people treat these respiratory viruses at home?

“Managing the fever with Tylenol or Motrin usually will help, the key is to stay hydrated, even if you’re not hungry, because often time we lose our appetite. It’s not necessary to eat, but it is absolutely necessary to stay hydrated, and that’s the biggest concern for our little ones and our elderly populations is to stay hydrated,” Dr. Brown insisted.

Pediatric ENT specialists also encourage these home remedies

Nasal suction & saline

A humidifier - creating moist air can help to breathe better and decrease the amount of congestion and coughing

Keep hydrated

To prevent getting sick

Harris County Public Health recommends getting the flu and COVID vaccines.

All COVID and flu vaccines are free at any county health site, which can be found here.

Stay home when sick and practice good hand hygiene.