FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Across the entire country, hospitals are seeing a rise in RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, this year, especially in kids.

The CDC’s website shows national, regional, and state trends.

In Indiana, the trends show a big spike in late summer, and then another peak just recently.

Parkview Health System has had to make changes to accommodate for their pediatric beds being full. In a statement, the pediatric team said they’re seeing triple the amount of RSV cases in 2022 compared to recent years:

Parkview’s pediatric providers are seeing triple the amount of RSV cases as compared to previous years. Usually, the season begins at the end of November or early December and continues through March. This year, like everywhere else in the country, we started seeing a rise in RSV two to three months ago, and cases have steadily increased.   

To accommodate this increased demand for care, Parkview Women’s & Children’s Hospital has expanded pediatric bed capacity, using space within Parkview Regional Medical Center. Our pediatric teams are working with other units to manage capacity and staffing on an ongoing basis.”

Jennifer Coddington, a nurse practitioner and clinical assistant professor of nursing at Purdue University, recently spoke on the rise in RSV cases.

“I think that all of us are wondering what is causing that surge, but it obviously this year has been coming a lot earlier and it’s hitting kids a lot harder than it used to. So, we’re seeing more severe disease in those kiddos,” Coddington said.

Coddington added that RSV is one of the most common causes of bronchiolitis in children.

Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, and congestion.

She recommends making sure kids cough into their upper arm or elbow, or they should cough into a tissue. Coddington said it’s important to wash hands often and for at least 20 seconds each time. Cleaning surfaces that are touched often can also help.

“The thought is is that the virus is encountering vulnerable populations right now, so those kids that have not been exposed to the common pathogens that they would normally be exposed to,” Coddington said. “The thought is that because of the pandemic and because the population was masked for that mask mandate, and the fact that there was lockdown – we’re thinking that that’s why these kids are getting this earlier and we’re seeing more severe disease with it.”