MINNEAPOLIS — Children's Minnesota says they're seeing an unusual summertime spike in a respiratory virus that can make kids really sick.
"We’re seeing more kids with common respiratory illnesses, the usual cold viruses and also RSV," said Dr. Robert Sicoli, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Children's Minnesota.
What’s typically deemed a winter viral infection, Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is on the rise this summer landing many infants and young children in the hospital. Doctors say this is partly due to COVID protocols easing up.
"Now that things are opening up a little bit and families are out and about and there’s a little less social distancing going on and what not and the masks have come off, the viruses are making a comeback and causing some infections," said Dr. Sicoli.
Symptoms of the infection range from severe fever and nasal congestion to dehydration and difficulty breathing.
All of which Rochelle Lane noticed in one of her 19 month old twins, nearly a week ago.
"Snotty nose, Friday same thing but she seemed a little uncomfortable, agitated, and then by the time Saturday came she was just super not herself," said Lane. She went on to say, "my mom was like 'lets just take her in.' Took her to the ER and they said she had RSV.”
Few days later her son’s symptoms kicked in.
"They did a COVID testing for both of them. They tested negative," said Lane.
One was able to recover, while the other remains on fluids and oxygen at Children's Minnesota in Minneapolis, fighting a disease doctors say isn’t limited to just children.
"In adults its more commonly going to be some cold symptoms and the adults don’t often get quite as sick as the very young infants do," said Dr. Sicoli.
With infections on the rise, and no vaccines to prevent RSV transmissions, doctors say parents should be concerned, but not panicked.
"Trust your sixth sense, your parental sense. You know, if you think they’re looking sick or there’s something more to it, you know, see your doctor, see your clinic and get it checked out," said Dr. Sicoli.
Doctors say most mild RSV cases can be managed at home by monitoring your kids' symptoms, keeping them hydrated and keeping their fever under control, but be sure to see a doctor if those symptoms worsen.
According to the CDC roughly 500 children under the age of 5 die each year due to complications from RSV infections.