SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Area pediatricians are warning parents of young children to be prepared as RSV cases start to rise.

Respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV, is especially dangerous to infants. For some, it can put them in the hospital for days.

Parent Mariah Mills said her family recently experienced just that. 

“Their lungs were just filled with fluid,” said Mills. “They admitted us into the hospital straight from the doctors appointment.”

Mills has twin 3-month-old boys who recently had RSV.

“Barrett had started coughing so much he was just holding onto my finger,” said Mills. “He started coughing so much that his face turned beet red. You could just hear him trying to gasp for air. You can’t help them. There’s nothing you can do for them.”

Mills said she hopes more people realize the risks behind RSV.

“I think that if we could spread more awareness, then people would understand more when we say don’t kiss our babies, don’t touch our babies,” said Mills.

Local doctors said cases will continue to go up as we head into the colder months.

Dr. Kofi Asare with CoxHealth said he is seeing bad cases of RSV right now.

“They can get pretty sick,” said Asare. “They need support breathing. They need IV fluids.”

Doctors said it’s important to know the signs.

“Go see your pediatrician as soon as your baby starts retracting significantly, is not drinking for more than six to eight hours and is lethargic,” said Asare.

The CDC lists some common symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

RSV cases typically peak in January or February.