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With a spike in hospital visits, doctors encourage precautions

Concerns over high cases of two common respiratory viruses have doctors encouraging vaccination and precautionary measures leading into the holiday season.

Kids six months and older have been especially impacted by RSV or Respiratory syncytial virus. It's a version of the common cold and there is no vaccine.

Allergist Mitch Rodriguez from Atrium Health Navicent in Macon says a recent spike in hospital visits is a couple months earlier than expected.

"We don't want families to avoid coming to the emergency room," Rodriguez said. "We just want them to use it appropriately."

Because flu hospitalizations among the elderly are also putting a strain on the system, southern states have the highest positivity rate for both viruses, and doctors expect another surge with holiday travel.

Rodriguez says the first best way to avoid getting sick is to get vaccinated.

"Number two, if you're sick, if you have a fever, stay away from family members."

And when in doubt, Rodriguez says, wear a mask.