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Pediatric doctors are noticing kids getting respiratory illnesses earlier in the year

COVID-19 and no vaccine for kids under 12 are some reasons why pediatricians are noticing kids catching winter respiratory illnesses, like RSV, earlier than usual.

TEXAS, USA — As doctors continue treating patients with COVID. Pediatric doctors are noticing more and more younger patients in their clinics.

"The clinics have been extremely busy with pediatric since some August of this year when school went back in full session," says Dr. Khadijah Abdurrazaq, MCHS Chief Pediatrician. 

"But come COVID things took a different turn completely, so we did not see any RSV during lockdown but after we opened back up we started seeing it in summer and that's very unusual."

Abdurrrazaq says her team has seen an influx in kids with respiratory illnesses, like RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus. 

According to doctors, this winter virus has decided to make an earlier arrival because of the presence of COVID and the absence of the vaccine for children under 12 years old. 

"It used to be more of a winter virus so this was something we would get started somewhere in November through the beginning of Spring. It was more something we saw in the Fall and early Spring," says Dr. Abdurrazaq. 

RSV develops symptoms in any age that are similiar to the common cold but it has a more severe affect on infants and babies below 2 to 6 months.

"For toddlers two and below and babies, it causes severe respiratory illnesses fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, wheezing. A few may end up being hospitalized for oxygenation if their oxygen drops," she says.

Since there is no treatment for RSV, Dr. Abdurrazaq says the virus will go away on its own but parents with infants and babies should take the safety precautions necessary for their child.