BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Health care experts around Ohio say children’s hospitals around the state are busier than usual for this time of the year.
It’s something healthcare officials and even parents have been noticing for weeks, thanks to a pair of viruses spreading at the same time.
“RSV is increasing week over week. Influenza’s increasing more quickly week over week,” said Dr. Michael Bigham, a doctor with Akron Children’s Hospital.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Tuesday that emergency rooms, urgent care centers and primary offices are all experiencing very high patient volumes.
Local pediatrician Dr. Manny Spirtos said the jump in cases is happening earlier than usual.
“I’m probably seeing the same amount that we normally do for a regular season. I think the difference is it’s the second week of November as opposed to the second week in January,” he said.
Both RSV and the flu can cause the most concern among the very young, especially those under the age of one. The flu can also impact the elderly and those with immune problems.
As for RSV cases, doctors say most will improve on their own. They recommend treating symptoms as they arise. Since the virus is so easily transmissible, there are steps to take if you or your child is sick.
“That includes washing your hands. If you have to be out in public, I think wearing a mask is still an option and probably does reduce RSV transmission as well,” Bigham said.
For now, doctors don’t see either RSV or influenza peaking anytime soon.