CHOP reporting increase in kids being admitted due to several viruses

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are reporting an increase in kids being admitted to the hospital due to several viruses going around.

Typically, children's hospitals expect to see more sick kids coming in in the fall and winter, but this year the uptick in activity is happening much earlier than ever before.

Dr. Julia Sammons, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at CHOP, says they're seeing more cases of COVID-19 and also other respiratory viruses including RSV - or respiratory syncytial virus. RSV is an infection that can be dangerous for young children.

So why the early, increased uptick? Even with precautions, as kids spend more time together, viruses we barely saw when everyone was home now have more opportunity to spread.

"And many of these young children have not been exposed to any viruses before, so some of them may be getting sicker for the first time they're seeing the virus," said Dr. Sammons.

Experts expect the trend to continue, especially as we get closer to flu season,/ which can start as early as October and typically peaks December through February.

"So it's really important that we all take steps now to further limit spread and by getting vaccines, wearing masks and reducing potential exposures in public. Our hope is to continue to reduce the potential for an ongoing influx of children who are infected and need hospitalization," said Dr. Sammons.

The flu shot is recommended for kids 6 months old and older. The COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for kids 12 and up.

If your child is sick, keep them home. If they have symptoms of COVID-19, check in with your pediatrician to get them tested. A high fever in an infant or difficulty breathing in any age warrants a trip to the emergency room.

For a COVID-19 symptoms checker, visit https://www.chop.edu/covid-19-testing-kids or call 1-800-722-7112.
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