RSV, Flu, Covid-19 Information

Current High levels of respiratory illness in Pitkin County: suspected RSV, Flu, Covid-19

Pitkin County Public Health would like the community to be aware of a current, sharp rise in levels of respiratory illness. Common illnesses which may be affecting our community include Flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and Covid-19. Older adults, individuals who are immunocompromised, infants and toddlers are especially susceptible to severe illness if they get sick with one or more of these “bugs”. You can read more in the CDPHE’s Colorado Flu and RSV report.

What’s different now compared to years past?

Over the last 2.5 years community level mitigation measures have been incredibly effective at reducing the frequency of respiratory diseases. This means we not only helped reduce the spread of Covid-19, but also other respiratory pathogens such as RSV and Flu. Now that these mitigation measures are not widely in use, these respiratory pathogens are circulating and without exposure or vaccination, individuals can be susceptible to severe illness.

Currently we are seeing a dramatic increase in RSV associated hospitalizations especially in children younger than 6 years of age. Children’s Hospital in Denver has had zero pediatric ICU bed availability over the last week and cases of RSV continue to rise throughout the state.

What can you do: Avoid getting sick:

  - Everyone 6 months and older should Get a seasonal Flu vaccine

  - Everyone 5 years and older should Get a bivalent Covid-19 vaccine

  - Wear a medical grade surgical or N95 mask

  - Do not share utensils or cups

  - Wash your hands and disinfect frequently touched surfaces+

Stay home

If you or your family are symptomatic, stay at home until your symptoms have cleared, plus an additional 24 hours. If you have been exposed to a person with Covid-19. Follow the CDC Covid-19 isolation guidance. For further guidance, contact your primary care physician.

Seek testing

While the care suggestions for RSV/Flu/Covid-19 are similar, the period during which you may be contagious to others and the isolation timeline is not the same for all three. It may be beneficial to know which one is causing your illness, in order to determine how long you may need to avoid contact with others. While Covid-19 testing options are widely available; in order to test for RSV or Flu your pediatrician can order a test for you, or you can order a mail-in test kit and have it delivered straight to your home and may be covered by insurance in some cases.

Rest and Recover

Rest at home and drink plenty of fluids, until your symptoms resolve. If your symptoms become severe, contact your doctor immediately. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.