Local hospitals are seeing an increase in children who are getting very sick with the common respiratory virus RSV.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Local hospitals are seeing an increase in children who are getting very sick with the common respiratory virus RSV.

Typically, this time of year, doctors are preparing to see cases of RSV, but a pediatrician we spoke to said they started seeing positive cases in children as early as August.

"You always think it can't be me, it won't happen to my baby, and then it does,” said Aylssa Archuletta.

Archuletta took her son, Milan, to the doctor, after she noticed he developed a cough. Her pediatrician assured her he would be okay, but she says things quickly took a turn.

"He had woken himself up from a nap, crying, and screaming in pain, having a hard time breathing, a lot of congestion,” Archuletta noted.

She took her son to the emergency room, where they diagnosed him with RSV.

RSV generic MGN 101321

Image Courtesy: MGN Online / NASA / NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

"It's a helpless feeling as a mother, especially a first-time mother,” Archuletta added.

It's been two weeks since the positive test and Milan still has symptoms, but Baystate Chief of General Pediatrics Dr. John O'Reilly said that's considered a mild case as he says 58,000 children are admitted every year to the ICU for the virus

Different this year, doctors at the Baystate intensive care unit were seeing cases over the summer, instead of late fall and O'Reilly said it’s even more severe as we continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We're seeing kids who are getting RSV and COVID at the same time,” O’Reilly noted.

He suggested asking family members and friends to not put their hands or faces close to the faces of children under 2 and he said to practice good hand hygiene to prevent spreading RSV to those most at risk.

If your baby is having trouble breathing, O’Reilly explained, "If your child starts with a simple cold and is suddenly breathing fast or pulling at their neck or breathing with their belly, that's a sign that they are having more difficulty getting air into their lungs.”

O'Reilly said to call your pediatrician immediately.

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