Valley doctors seeing influx of RSV in young children

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PHOENIX -- There's a bad bug floating around the Valley getting a lot of people sick. It's called respiratory syncytial virus. Doctors said it's hitting infants and toddlers especially hard.

It's something physicians see every year. But this time health officials say they're seeing a lot more cases very early in the season.

Symptoms are similar to a common cold.

Dr. Don Bucklin is the Regional Medical Director at US Healthworks in Scottsdale. He says RSV isn't typically life threatening but can be tough on your little one, especially premature babies.

"When you're that young you're very fragile. Even normal, very young children do not have a very good immune response. It takes a while for that to develop," Bucklin said.

According to numbers from Arizona Department of Health Services, RSV is up 46 percent compared to this time last year. As for why we're seeing such an early influx, the Chief of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control Jessica Rigler said it's hard to say.

"This thing is unpredictable. There's not a good answer," Rigler said.

For most children symptoms will pass in about a week.

"If your child is acting abnormal, if they're having trouble breathing or wheezing that's a good time to take them to their healthcare provider," Rigler said.

Doctors told 3TV parents should treat their child's symptoms.