Child at Doctor

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two illnesses found in children — respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Croups — are on the rise locally, doctors said.

Norton Healthcare said the rise is unusual, because the illnesses typically spike in the fall and winter months.

Health officials believe the rise is largely due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting exposure during the usual season of the illnesses. And now that restrictions have lifted and people are gathering again, children are becoming infected.

"Now that things are opening back up a little bit and people are interacting a lot more, a lot of these general cold viruses are becoming a lot more apparent in the community that weren't before," said Dr. Sayeed Kahn, a pediatrician at Norton Children's Fern Creek.

Croup causes inflammation around the vocal chords and a seal-like cough in children. RSV is a common virus that results in respiratory distress that makes it hard to breathe.

In April and May, doctors at Norton reported 721 more cases of Croup than last year's months. Norton said it also treated 48 cases of RSV in April and May of this year, compared to just 11 in 2020.

Doctors said the key to slowing this trend is for parents to be mindful of hand-washing hygiene and monitor for symptoms.

"If your kids are starting to display those symptoms, try to minimize their interaction with day care or school or other people in the community to try and minimize the spread of the illness," Kahn said.

Doctors said if your child is showing symptoms of a respiratory illness, it's a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible.

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