NEW YORK (WABC) -- Disturbing new numbers out Monday show that pediatric bed occupancy in hospitals nationwide is the highest it has been in two years.
The number of beds filled with children battling RSV is 78%, which is up from last week.
The unseasonable early spike in RSV cases among young children is pushing some hospitals across the country to capacity - including the pediatric unit at Cohen's Children's Hospital in New York.
Dr. James Schneider says RSV is hitting harder and earlier than usual, especially among children, and it may be a result of the pandemic because masking and social distancing prevented many children from getting RSV.
"Now that thankfully we are able to relax all those preventative measures and they're back in school thankfully, and back to social events, there are just a lot children and a lot of people that don't have immunity," Schneider said.
Anita Ghiam knows all too well what it's like to see your child so ill from what seemed at first to just be a common cold.
Her 3-year-old daughter Ella spent six days in the Cohen Pediatric Unit last week with RSV.
"There's no word to describe it, it's a feeling I hope no mother gets to experience," Ghiam said.
Ella is now home and on the road to recovery, and Ghiam has a message for other parents.
"You know your child the best, so just follow your instincts on that and also be aware of the symptoms of RSV," she said.
The CDC has also been tracking flu in recent weeks and says it has seen earlier and increasing numbers of flu as well.