LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Public health experts are warning that the rising rates of RSV in the Southern U.S. could be a sign we need to prepare here in Southern California
At one hospital in Texas, doctors are sounding the alarm about the continuous influx of RSV cases.
"We have a patient checking in every 3 minutes," said Dr. Taylor Louden, who works in pediatric emergency medicine.
In Fort Worth, officials at Cook Children's Health Care System say they treated nearly 250 children with RSV in the last week alone.
"It was an emotional roller coaster. I didn't know if my baby was gonna be OK," said mom Kaycee Hughes.
Parents of 10-month-old Konnar Cotton said he was diagnosed with pneumonia and multiple viruses, including RSV after he had trouble breathing. His mother says the ICU where he's being treated is full.
"Unfortunately, all pediatric hospitals are bracing for impact. We are still very early on in the winter season," said Dr. John Brownstein, infectious disease epidemiologist and ABC News contributor.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, produces mild cold like symptoms for most. But for young children, RSV can be deadly.
A monoclonal antibody treatment to protect babies against RSV called nirsevimab is approved for infants, but it's in limited supply.
In Los Angeles County, public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer says now is the time for parents to take action.
"We do have a supply here in L.A. County, it's just limited. We urge you to talk to your provider to make sure that those infants, particularly those infants who are at higher risk, will get the opportunity to get vaccinated or to get that treatment," Ferrer said.
There are also new and approved RSV vaccines for people aged 60 and older and pregnant women in weeks 32 to 36 weeks of their pregnancy. Experts are urging people to talk to their health care provider about whether or not getting the vaccine is appropriate for them.