An Ohio boy has been hospitalized after catching three respiratory viruses at once – amid fears of rising co-infections.
Two-year-old Wilder Jackson of Middletown – just 30 miles north of Cincinnati – was battling rhinovirus, enterovirus and adenovirus simultaneously.
The three cold viruses have become increasingly serious for children after the lockdown, after social restrictions left many with weakened immune systems.
Wilder tested positive for the flu for the first time after his family returned from an early September trip to Disney World and recovered within days.
But after a period of good health, he suddenly began to suffer from fevers reaching up to 105F (40C). Doctors were puzzled as he had no other symptoms indicating he had an infection.
After six uncertain weeks, Wilder was finally tested and diagnosed with all three viruses simultaneously at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
None of these viruses are considered particularly dangerous for young children, but together they formed a severe combo.
Children’s hospitals across the country have reportedly struggled to cope with a recent spike in infections, with three-quarters of pediatric beds in the United States currently full.
Wilder Jackson, 2, of Middletown, Ohio, was hospitalized after being simultaneously infected with rhinovirus, enterovirus and adenovirus
The young boy suffered from such a high fever that he had hallucinations. His family took him to a local hospital where he received the last available bed
Pictured from left to right: Wilder, Scott, Ciara and Frankie Jackson
Wilder’s family told ABC they initially treated him with Motrin and Tylenol to help relieve his fever symptoms — but they kept coming back.
His family first took him to the emergency room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital when the fever soared to 103F on a Friday night.
Ciara, the boy’s mother, said the family were first told it was just a virus and he would be fine.
“They took his temperature twice and then sent us home – because his fever had gone – because we gave them Tylenol,” she explained.
Two days later, Wilder’s fever had jumped to 105F and he was having fever dreams. His mother said he suffered from hallucinations.
‘[He was] thinking he was outside. We were inside on the couch and he was like, ‘I want to come in. I need to get away from the dinosaur,” she said.
“He looked like stains on the ceiling and started to panic and cry and he was shaking. It was kind of like the parental instinct – we have to go in.
After a few days in the hospital, Wilder recovered from his illness and returned home. His sister was hospitalized with a cold a few weeks earlier
Pictured from left to right: Scott, Frankie, Ciara and Wilder Jackson
Like many other hospitals, Dayton Children’s was hammered by an increase in respiratory infections by the time Wilder was admitted.
About 75% of pediatric hospital beds nationwide are currently full amid a surge of influenza, RSV and other respiratory viruses that have been suppressed during Covid.
“We felt very lucky to have entered,” Ciara said.
She continued: “My cousin who works [at Children Dayton’s] said they used pre-op rooms for regular hospital rooms because they ran out of space there.
After two days in hospital, Wilder was released on Wednesday morning after his fever subsided for 24 hours.
It wasn’t the first scary situation the family had to endure recently, either.
Wilder’s younger sister, one-year-old Frankie, was hospitalized for six hours after suffering from a serious cold just a few weeks ago.
Experts have warned that this year’s flu season will be more brutal than previous ones, even warning of a “triple epidemic” of Covid, influenza and RSV.
WHAT IS RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus with which almost all children are infected before the age of two.
In older children and adults, RSV can trigger colds and coughs, but it can cause bronchiolitis in young children.
The virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can survive on a surface for up to 24 hours.
Children remain contagious for up to three weeks, even after their symptoms have disappeared.
RSV accounts for 450,000 GP appointments, 29,000 hospitalizations and 83 deaths a year among children in the UK.
In the United States, it causes approximately 58,000 hospitalizations and 100 to 500 deaths in children under five.