PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – In recent months, the respiratory virus RSV has exploded among young school-aged children, taking part in a tripledemic with COVID-19 and the flu.

Officials say the best way to stop the spread of RSV is to test as soon as possible, including with at-home tests.

“If a child is under 2 years old, you should be testing at home pretty regularly because that can turn into something more serious,” according to Leo Friedman, CEO of promotional products supplier iPromo. He also warns that 7% of RSV tests can come back as a false negative or a false positive.

“It’s commonplace now for us to have kindergartens, hospitals, all sorts of organizations come to us and buy hundreds of these test kits so they can test on the fly. It only takes 15 minutes, it’s just like a COVID test,” Friedman explained — adding that at-home RSV tests are also available at drugstores like Walgreens and CVS.

Earlier in January, the Oregon Health Authority said while respiratory virus activity was high in the community, with some hospitals operating at or near capacity, health officials were seeing improvements in respiratory virus hospitalizations.

According to OHA, adults and children under 2 years old are most at risk of the virus, and say some prevention efforts include covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, disinfecting common areas and staying away from others when you are sick, if possible.

The agency says RSV can cause cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing fever or decrease in appetite.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children under 5 years old are hospitalized with RSV every year in the United States. According to the CDC website, “virtually all children get an RSV infection by the time they are 2 years old,” and may lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia.