Respiratory And Flu Cases On The Rise For Children In Orange County

From CBS Los Angeles

ORANGE ( — Fifteen-month old Maya McDonald is so sick with the Syncytial respiratory virus better known as RSV, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Orange County admitted her into ICU. Her mother Kelli McDonald brought her right in when she noticed a fever, wheezing and rapid breathing.

“We’re seeing quite a bit of RSV, but its hard to tell whether the peak for any given season will be until the season has passed,” Dr. Jasjit Singh said. “Certainly the Influenza season seems like it is gradually building up right now.”

The numbers are way up in both categories at CHOC compared to last flu season. People of all ages are being hit hard with illnesses that don’t seem to go away quickly.

Libby Gessford, 15, got sick Friday and hasn’t been back to school yet. The Corona del Mar High sophomore was diagnosed Tuesday with influenza A. She’s started tamiflu and hopes to be better in time for finals next week.

“Bad sore throat, really bad cough and my head has started to hurt,” Gessford said.

Since October, Children’s Hospital has diagnosed 114 kids with influenza, two-and-a-half times more than a year ago. The cases of respiratory virus are at 684, a huge jump.

The number of sick kids here with RSV at Children’s hospital of Orange County is nearly five times what it was when comparing the same time last year. Doctors are saying that many of these kids are so sick they’re being admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.

RSV and the flu can be deadly especially for the very old and very young.

“It’s been going around but this is one of the tougher seasons,” McDonald said. “It’s been more difficult for children, if you feel your child is ill, go get checked out.”