WARRICK CO., Ind. (WEHT) — Hospitals across much of the country say they are seeing a rising number of pediatric cases of RSV, flu and other respiratory viruses.

According to the CDC, the age group currently most impacted by RSV, short for respiratory syncytial virus, is children under five. A local doctor with Deaconess says they are also noticing the surge.

“This is really flooding our offices as well as the pediatric hospitals,” Sarah Rust, pediatric physician tells us.

Pediatric bed usage across the country is at its highest in two years and now Deaconess Hospital is warning parents about RSV and its impact on kids. Doctors say the virus is spreading sooner than usual this year and is leading to more severe cases.

“It’s really hard for them to take deep a breath,” says Rust. “We can also see fever associated with this as well as tiredness. And as these symptoms go on, we run the risk of pneumonia on top of that as well as ear infections as well.”

Authorities believe after masks and social distancing, young children primarily staying home during COVID are now being exposed to some other viruses for the first time in a long time.

Doctors are urging families to get their vaccinations as colder weather approaches. Health experts remind everyone to disinfect surfaces frequently and make sure children are washing their hands.