Ohio sees summer surge of respiratory illnesses, RSV and COVID-19

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff and doctors from Ohio's children's hospitals warn about a surge in summer respiratory illnesses.

Doctors at Ohio's children's hospitals sounded the alarm Monday about a rise in respiratory illnesses: both COVID-19 and the respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

"Nobody wants to be an alarmist," said Dr. Patty Manning-Courtney, chief of staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. "But I also feel it's my responsibility to share the trends that we're seeing and to ask for help when we need it." 

What doctors are seeing is an unexpected summer surge of respiratory illnesses ranging from RSV and COVID-19 to parainfluenza and rhinovirus, which leads to the common cold. The combination of these viruses has stretched the resources of some Ohio hospitals.  

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.

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