HONOLULU (KHON2) — Little children are coughing, sneezing, unable to catch their breath and sometimes even ending up in the hospital. State health officials said that is what they are seeing as RSV cases rise early in the season.

The state department of health said the number of positive tests for RSV this season so far has been 2,070 and this doesn’t include the many who haven’t tested. Caroline Pratt, Hawaii DoH Disease Investigation Branch Chief, said, “If we look at the data for the state of Hawaii, we do see increases in both the number of tests being done and the percentage of tests that are coming back positive.”

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“So, right now about one in four tests being done for RSV is coming back positive.”

Caroline Pratt, Hawaii DoH Disease Investigation Branch Chief

Doctors suggest being cautious of kids ages newborn to five.

One Oahu parent said a small cough from his 16-month-old son turned scary fast in February 2020. “So, my wife had taken him into the pediatrician and they’re like, you have to go now. They called for an ambulance to rush him over to Kapiolani because his oxygen numbers are super low,” said Reggie Torres.

What they thought was the flu or covid turned out to be RSV, putting their child in the hospital for three days. This year they are thankful to know what to look out for. “One of the biggest things we kind of learned especially from their doctors, even though they may feel better, their body might not be fully better. Sort of still keep on it until we notice, you know, those prolonged periods of time where they seem a lot healthier, not just a little spurt here and there,” said Torres.

Another parent is glad they caught it early.

“He started to feel better after the first day of antibiotics and the nebulizer treatment. He breaths so much easier, so much easier now and he’s sleeping through the night.”

Di Salas

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Although there is no vaccine for RSV, doctors still suggest taking precautionary measures, get flu shots and COVID vaccinations to prevent additional sickness.