RSV Epidemic - June/July

This virus epidemic is causing a nasty cough, runny nose and fever which can last up to 4 days. GP’s, Urgent Care Clinics and ED’s are all swamped with very long wait times. Our clinic is experiencing attendances 40% higher than usual with long wait times and all clinic staff are currently under considerable strain. Treatment for this condition is supportive, keep hydrated and treat the fever with paracetamol or ibuprofen. The duration is about a week, it may worsen over 3-4 days then improve over 3-4 days. Once the fever has resolved that is the first sign of improvement. Cough suppressants are not licensed for children under 6 years of age in New Zealand and are not subsidized by the government but these can be bought from chemists for older kids & adults and may provide a degree of relief. Antibiotics cannot be used as they do not kill viruses. Please try to manage this at home and only present to us if you are concerned about breathing difficulty (when not coughing), or dehydration or a fever that goes on longer than 4 days. This will assist us by freeing up time so that those that are very sick can get better care.

The best way to measure a fever in adults is under the tongue, in children place the thermometer tightly under the armpit, using an inexpensive digital thermometer that can be bought from chemists for about $10, these are 100% accurate. Paracetamol is not needed unless the temperature is over 37.5 under the arm or over 38 under the tongue. Please be aware that an ear thermometer reads higher so up to 38 degrees is normal. Keep kids at home so they do not infect others at school or daycare.

The Ministry of Health requests all adults with respiratory symptoms (cough/runny nose/sore throat) to be tested for COVID-19. You do not need to see a doctor for this, it can be arranged with our Practice Nurses by calling 021 108 4867