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Utah residents are dealing with a handful of viruses beside COVID

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Salt Lake City, Utah — Feeling sick? Utah residents are dealing with respiratory viruses causing problems with many of the same symptoms, including cough, fever, and headache.

Dr. Per Gesteland, who works at both University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, “We are having now, several things circulating which makes it really hard to figure out which one you’ve got and what to do with that information.”

According to Dr. Gesteland, at the top of the list, this week are the common cold, hand-foot, and mouth disease, and RSV. He oversees GermWatch.org, a disease monitoring site from Intermountain Health.

“We are seeing moderate to high levels of RSV that we would normally be seeing heading into late December, early January,” Dr. Gesteland said.

RSV is hitting several months early and it’s hitting hard.

With viruses carrying the potential to cause complications, doctors urge parents to pay attention, test for COVID, and talk with their doctor when their child gets sick.

“You can kind of try to sort them out, but it gets really hard, even for us expert clinicians to tell which virus you’re carrying,” said Gesteland. “Think about getting tested, especially if you’re in that school-aged group and there are implications to bringing that back and spreading it in a school environment.”

According to doctors, while the viruses are different, prevention is the same. They say vaccinated if eligible, wear a mask indoors, and wash hands often.

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