More children are filling up Arizona hospital beds; here’s why

It’s a trend around the nation; hospital beds are filling up with children, many of whom have RSV, a common respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 8:39 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It’s a trend around the nation; hospital beds are filling up with children, many of whom have RSV, a common respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms.

More than 5,300 cases of the virus have been reported in Arizona this year, and doctors want families to be on the lookout. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that last week 900 children were hospitalized with the virus.

While experts say they’re not necessarily seeing a spike in RSV-positive cases, they are seeing more cases of bronchiolitis, often caused by the virus, popping up in medical offices. According to the Mayo Clinic, bronchiolitis is almost always caused by a viral infection that sometimes progresses to severe cough, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

It most often circulates in the winter, but in the summer of 2021, Arizona’s Family reported an unusual summer spike in RSV around the state. According to Maricopa County Public Health data, higher than-usuals numbers are also witnessed this year.

Signs to watch out for

Most of these symptoms mimic a typical cold or flu, but in some cases, children could experience life-threatening illness.

  • Runny nose
  • Low appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever

National health officials say between RSV, the Flu, and COVID-19, hospital bed capacity could be tight throughout the winter.