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Health

Ohio Hospitals Are Seeing More Children With Respiratory Viruses

Dr. Michael Forbes, Akron Children's Hospital
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Dr. Michael Forbes, Akron Children's Hospital

Doctors with children’s hospitals in Ohio say they are seeing an increase in respiratory viruses right now, at the same time COVID cases are increasing.

Dr. Michael Forbes with Akron Children’s Hospital says they normally see cases of the dangerous respiratory virus known as R-S-V in the winter months. But not right now at the end of summer.

“We are usually at less than 1% positivity at this time of year. We’ve been as high as 40% in Akron," Forbes says.

Akron Children's Hospital isn’t alone. Ohio Dept of Health Director, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, says pediatric hospitals throughout Ohio are also seeing an increase in respiratory illnesses, in addition to COVID right now. He notes children didn't have as many respiratory illnesses last winter due to wearing masks and staying home more so they didn't develop as much immunity as they would over a normal winter.

Vanderhoff says the best way to prevent the spread of all of them is to wear a mask and, if a child is eligible, they should get a vaccine. Doing so, he says, will make sure Ohio’s hospitals don’t exceed capacity – something that’s happening in some other states right now.

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