Boston Medical Center is currently seeing a high number of patients with colds, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). These viral illnesses have led to long wait times in our Emergency Department, and much higher than normal numbers of inpatients. 

"Unfortunately, this year it’s looking like we may have a substantial number of influenza cases," said BMC infectious disease expert, Dr. Sabrina Assoumou.

As the weather gets colder and we all spend more time indoors, it’s important to be aware of how you can help keep you and your loved ones from getting sick. 

After more than two years of lockdown, younger children have had less exposure to the common viruses of childhood. This may be causing some children getting sicker from these viruses – especially by RSV this year – with higher-than-expected rates of children needing medical treatment or hospital admission.  

Washing your hands often and social distancing can help fight germs, but getting vaccinated is still your best defense against serious illness. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated for flu and COVID-19 as a way to help stay healthy. Please call your primary care doctor's office if you need a flu or COVID-19 vaccine.

If you or your child has symptoms of these viruses or any other minor illness, you can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit to learn more about our same and next-day appointment options.


When to call your child’s pediatrician

  • Your child’s symptoms get worse or last for more than a week without getting better
  • Your child has a temperature higher than 104ºF

When to go to urgent care or schedule a “same-day sick” visit

  • Your child has any of the above symptoms over the weekend, a holiday, or your child’s preferred primary care provider cannot see your child within one or two days
  • Your infant is younger than three months and has a temperature of 100.4ºF or higher

When to go to the emergency department

  • Your child of any age has any of the following symptoms:
  • Labored or rapid breathing
  • Grunting or flaring nostrils when breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dehydration or trouble drinking
  • Lethargy or trouble walking