RSV season at its peak, prompting visitor restrictions at hospitals

Clinics and hospitals are packed with sick kids. Many have a virus with symptoms similar to a bad cold, and it's very contagious.

Now, some Valley hospitals are even restricting visitors, with the main virus one Valley hospital is seeing and treating is RSV.

At Valleywise Medical Center they are seeing the virus more in little kids. A doctor said this virus, along with the flu, has come on a little earlier than it has in years past, and it is more severe this time around.

According to the doctor, it usually comes in January and February, but they started seeing a rise in December. The symptoms include runny nose, cough, significant congestion, and difficulty breathing. The doctor says it gets so severe, children have to be hospitalized.

"Unfortunately, kids are very good spreaders of RSV to each other and flu as well, so once it hits one kid, it's pretty common for it to spread through. That's why we advocate parents to keep their kids home when they're sick, in an effort to not have it sweep through all of the kids at school," said Dr. Salil Pradhan, a Pediatric Hospitalist with Valleywise Medical Center.
The doctor also mentioned that there's been some confusion with the coronavirus that many have heard about coming from China. He says there have been no reported cases of it in Arizona.

"The viral test that we run on all kids contain a virus called coronavirus on it. Coronavirus comes in all different types. The four types that we test for on the test that we do are not the same type that's causing all of the scare right now. So even if you have a positive coronavirus test, it's not the same coronavirus," said Dr. Pradhan.         

As flu season is in full swing, visitor restrictions are now in effect at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Children under the age of 12 years old are not allowed to visit any inpatient area or go to the playground.