Doctors say they’re seeing a lot of flu and RSV cases outside of their seasons

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - If your child isn’t feeling well but tested negative for COVID 19, they could have another virus. Pediatricians are seeing children catch infections outside of their regular season this year.

There’s a lot of different infections going on. With the summer ending and school back in session, infections in children are spreading sooner than later.

“We’re seeing RSV in August which we shouldn’t be, we’re seeing the flu in August which we shouldn’t be.”

Dr. Ben Spitalnick at Pediatric Associates of Savannah says the lack of masking could be to blame.

“We don’t know but perhaps a couple years of masking that reduced all illnesses for a long period of time, now diseases seem to have lost that season,” Dr. Ben Spitalnick said.

Spitalnick says peak flu season is usually from December to February but they’ve had several patients with the flu this summer.

“We expect this to be a very difficult flu season if flu season exist. We track our flu seasons based on what’s going on in other parts of the world and this year Australia has been devastated by a horrendous flu season.”

Also coming early this year, Respiratory Syncytia Virus or RSV usually comes around October and dies down in December.

Dr. Michael Bossak at Memorial Health Children’s Hospital says they’re also seeing an irregular uptick of children, babies and toddlers with RSV.

“This season we are seeing a higher than normal positivity for our test starting all the way back really in June for that to come up,” Dr. Michael Bossak said.

Dr. Bossak says the younger the child, the more severe RSV symptoms can be.

“If you are having respiratory distress, if they are working harder than they should be, if patients are not eating because they’re so congested, those are reasons to see a pediatrician.”

Dr. Bossak says vaccines are available for RSV at Memorial. Dr. Spitalnick says doctors offices should be getting flu vaccines in the coming weeks.