PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — A respiratory virus impacting infants and young children is hitting earlier and harder than in previous years.

Health leaders throughout the country are putting parents on alert for the rise in cases of respiratory syncytial virus.

Health experts said the respiratory virus is commonly found in kids younger than five years old, with symptoms being similar to the flu or cold.

Dr. Keith Hanson of OSF Healthcare said it impacts kids and adults differently.

“It’s just kind of in that class of respiratory viruses and in kids, it causes a lot of breathing troubles and difficulties. In adults oftentimes, it’s just a cold, but in kids, it tends to move down and affect the lungs more,” said Hanson.

According to the CDC, cases have doubled in 25 states in the last month, including Illinois.

Although medical experts said there are no vaccines for the virus, most doctors’ offices will have rapid testing available for RSV.

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