Tri-State health specialist talks about increasing respiratory-related illnesses nationwide

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Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Respiratory-related illnesses are alarmingly high right now throughout the country, including the Tri-State.

Dr. Christian Beuschel, a pediatric specialist with Ascension St. Vincent, says that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is affecting a record number of children across the country.

“The numbers we gave you were about 91 admitted kids to the hospital. So that’s not all the patients,” said Beuschel. “That’s three times more than what we were seeing at this time last year, that’s way more and we’re seeing this across the country. All the children’s hospitals are full and really busy dealing with RSV.”

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Beuschel says there were almost no RSV cases. He says as all the COVID-19 precautions became more relaxed within the past year, they’ve noticed more cases.

“We had a spike back in the summer, we’re having a spike now, really unexpected,” said Beuschel. “You know, how long will this last? It’s hard to say because it hasn’t fit any normal cycle.”

Dr. Beuschel says the virus is passed along by touch, so washing your hands consistently is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy.

He says if parents are concerned about their children exhibiting symptoms of RSV or notice their child is having trouble breathing, contact their pediatrician or take them to the local emergency room.