Oct 27, 2022

By Christine Ross

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An early increase in respiratory viral illnesses is leading to long emergency room waits, up to 12 hours at Toronto’s SickKids which is three times longer than in 2019. And Ottawa’s children hospital calls it an “unprecedented surge.”

Same story stateside where U-S hospitals are struggling to keep up with the surge in child respiratory viruses. American pediatrician Dr. Peter Hotez says there are two populations hit especially hard.

“Young infants, particularly those who are premature or have underlying pulmonary or heart conditions and then older individuals, especially if they have congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive lung disease,” said Dr. Hotez.

The peak RSV season is typically December to February but illnesses are showing up weeks ahead.

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