A boy in Ohio was hospitalized after catching three respiratory viruses at once – amid fears co-infections are on the rise.
Wilder Jackson, two, from Middletown – just 30 miles north of Cincinnati – was simultaneously battling rhinovirus, enterovirus and adenovirus.
The three common cold viruses have become increasingly severe for children post-lockdown, after social restrictions left many with weakened immune systems.
Wilder first tested positive for the flu after his family returned home from an early-September trip to Disney World and recovered within a couple of days.
But after a spell of good health he suddenly began to suffer fevers reaching up to 105F (40C). Doctors were puzzled because he was suffering no other symptoms that indicated he had an infection.
After an uncertain six weeks, Wilder was finally tested and diagnosed with all three viruses simultaneously at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
None of these viruses are considered to be especially dangerous to young children, but together they formed a severe combo.
Children’s hospitals around the country have reportedly struggled to deal with a recent surge of infections, with three-quarters of pediatric beds in the US currently full.
Wilder Jackson, 2, of Middletown, Ohio, was hospitalized after simultaneously being infected with rhinovirus, enterovirus and adenovirus
The young boy suffered from a fever so severe that he was experiencing hallucinations. His family took him to a local hospital were he received the last available bed
Pictured left to right: Wilder, Scott, Ciara and Frankie Jackson
Wilder’s family told ABC that they initially treated him with Motrin and Tylenol to help relieve his fever symptoms – but they kept returning.
His family first took him to the emergency room at Cincinnati Children’s hospital when the fever surged to 103F on a Friday night.
Ciara, the boy’s mother, said that the family was initially told that is was just a virus and that he would be ok.
‘They took his temperature twice and then sent us home — because his fever had broken – because we had given them Tylenol,’ she explained.
Two days later, Wilder’s fever had jumped to 105F and he was suffering fever dreams. His mother said that he was suffering hallucinations.
‘[He was] thinking he was outside. We were inside on the couch, and he was saying, ‘I want to go inside. I need to get away from the dinosaur,” she said.
‘He would look at like spots on the ceiling and just start freaking out and crying and he was shaking. It was kind of like the parental instinct — we need to go in.’
After a few days in the hospital, Wilder recovered from his illness and returned home. His sister was hospitalized with the cold only a few weeks earlier
Pictured from left to right: Scott, Frankie, Ciara and Wilder Jackson
Like many other hospitals, Dayton Children’s was being hammered by a surge in respiratory infections at the time Wilder was admitted.
Around 75 per cent of pediatric hospital beds nationally are full at the moment amid a wave of flu, RSV and other respiratory viruses that were suppressed during Covid.
‘We felt very fortunate that we got in,’ Ciara said.
She continued: ‘My cousin who works [at Children Dayton’s] said they’re using pre op rooms for regular hospital rooms because they’re running out of space there.’
After two days in the hospital, Wilder was released on Wednesday morning after his fever had subsided for 24 hours.
This was not the first scary situation the family suffered recently either.
Wilder’s younger sister, Frankie, one, was hospitalized for six hours after suffering from a severe case of the common cold only a few weeks ago.
Experts have warned that flu season this year will be more brutal than those previous, even warning of a ‘tripledemic’ of Covid, the flu and RSV.
WHAT IS RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus that almost all children become infected with by 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 is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can survive on a surface for up to 24 hours.
Children remain infectious for up to three weeks, even after their symptoms have passed.
RSV accounts for 450,000 GP appointments, 29,000 hospitalizations and 83 deaths per year among children in the UK.
In the US, it leads to around 58,000 hospitalizations and 100 to 500 deaths among children aged younger than five.