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Central Indiana hospitals overwhelmed by surge of RSV cases

Hospitals across central Indiana say they are seeing a sharp increase in RSV cases.

INDIANAPOLIS — RSV is a virus that rears its head every year, but this year is anything but typical.

"We're at capacity at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. Not only in the pediatric ICU on the pediatric floor, the ER is extremely busy," said Dr. Kay Sichting, the Pediatric ICU Medical Director at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

They, like many other hospitals, are overwhelmed by the surge.

"We are seeing RSV earlier than we normally do and in greater numbers," Sichting said.

Kelsi Clark, of Lafayette, said her son Cooper's run-in with the virus started Wednesday.

RELATED: RSV cases in young kids on the rise in Indiana

"He's 6 months old, so it's been really scary," Clark said. "I had to pick my son up from day care with a fever, and they let me know a baby had tested positive for RSV. I took him to urgent care from day care to get them tested. He tested positive."

That led to an overnight stay at IU Health's Arnett Hospital.

"They informed us last night that they wouldn't be able to keep us due to not having the right care that he needs," Clark said. "They tried to get us to every hospital in Indiana with pediatric ICU and were turned away from all of them due to not having enough beds."

Cooper was flown in an IU Health Lifeline helicopter to a hospital in Louisville.

"We've been being cared for in the emergency department, but this children's hospital has also been full for months," Clark said.

RELATED: Unseasonable rise in pediatric respiratory cases forces visitor restriction at Riley Children's Hospital

Cooper continues to fight as mom and dad wait for a room.

"He's been on oxygen, he's been on breathing treatments, steroids," Clark said. "Hopefully, it runs its course without too much damage on his little lungs."

The recent surge has been stressing mothers and hospitals alike.

"This variant of RSV, just like flu variants, sometimes can be worse than others," Sichting said. "This variant of RSV may be worse."

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