URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — “Unfortunately, RSV, flu and a lot of viruses have peaked really early this year and it’s running rampant throughout the region,” Dr. Jaya Wadhawan at OSF Healthcare said.

This is the second straight year RSV cases have popped up earlier than expected and it’s putting a strain on hospitals.

Doctors say pediatric beds have been filling up across the state. We spoke with a pediatrician to break down what parents need to know.

RSV has always been a problem in young children and the elderly, but doctors say COVID precautions over the last few years helped reduce cases.

Now, they’re seeing an increase as a lot of the state has opened up. Dr. Jaya Wadhawan with OSF Healthcare told me she’s treated a handful of cases in babies.

She says there is also a shortage of beds at the main children’s hospital in Peoria, so babies are being transferred to other floors.

Doctors are seeing a lot of cases in daycares and schools where kids are in close proximity. Dr. Wadhawan says she doesn’t want parents to panic, but she wants them to be prepared.

“It’s always been an issue before COVID and now even after COVID. They kind of mimic each other in the way that you know you get the flu, the fever, running nose, cough. RSV tends to hit our babies a little hit harder. The difficulty breathing, sometimes they need the oxygen support and sometimes iv hydration,” Dr. Wadhawan said.

She says if families have already experienced RSV there’s nothing new to worry about, they’re just seeing cases sooner than they expected.

She still advises parents to remind kids to wash hands, cough into their elbow and clean surfaces. Kids can be swabbed for the virus. People are usually contagious for three to eight days.