ILLINOIS (WIFR) -- We've been hearing about the bad flu season for weeks, but there's another virus striking young children more than usual.
Ashley Cunz calls her daughter Aubrey, her miracle baby. When Aubrey was just a few weeks old, she was hospitalized for a month, with Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV.
Ashley says she thought it was just a bad cough, which almost cost her, her baby's life.
"I just I watched her and it was the most miserable days of my life by far. She sat there and she was just lifeless.”
Now healthcare providers worry about how common Ashley's experience has become.
"This is the typical time of the year where we see high cases of RSV, but I would say this year we are seeing more cases than in past years,” said Physician Assistant, Carleen Freesmeier.
SwedishAmerican hospital sees about ten babies a day with RSV, which is concerning, since according to the CDC, 23% of cases reported in Illinois have ended in death. None of those happened at Swedes. Physician assistant, Carleen Freesmeier says the virus doesn't always mean a trip to the emergency room.
if you're unsure if your child is infected, she says there are ways to tell.
“One of the things that you'll notice is they'll start to do belly breathing, where their tummies look like they're sucking in and out,” Freesmeier said.
Other symptoms include fever, loss of appetite and wheezing.
Now Ashley considers her daughter one of the lucky ones. Aubrey's a year old and healthy, but Ashley says she still worries about her daughter, especially since her family runs a daycare center. That's where most kids catch RSV.
"We make sure we disinfect everything because I would not want to see that to happen again, to anybody not even my own child."
Doctors say the best way to prevent our kids from getting sick, is to wash our hands often and avid sharing things like silverware with others.