SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Doctors are seeing a spike in Respiratory Syncytial virus cases this fall.

According to the Critical Care expert Dr. Rick Barr, this marks the second year of spiked cases of RSV in children.

“The emergency departments at our two hospitals are as busy as they’ve ever been because of respiratory illnesses, many of these children require inpatient care, and some need ventilator support on our intensive care unit,” Barr said.

One mom’s daughter has experienced this spike firsthand, as she watches her daughter fight off this challenging infection.

Stephanie Corrigan is the mother of six-month-old Raelynn Corrigan who was recently diagnosed with RSV.

“As soon as those words came out of her mouth, I just lost it,” Corrigan said.

Corrigan says the infection began to get worse, which resulted in Raelynn needing special care.

“We got to take probably the most expensive ride of our lives, and we flew in a helicopter called Angel One and we were transported to Little Rock Children’s,” Corrigan said.

Doctor Barr says we could face a historic winter respiratory illness season if we don’t try to prevent this right now.

“We’re doing increased hand washing and I mentioned earlier that just everything we can to avoid this because it was truly awful,” Corrigan said.

Corrigan says with the world still fighting off other viruses like COVID-19 and the flu, she wants to protect her baby at all costs.

Corrigan says after weeks of hospital visits she is glad to see baby Raelynn start to return to normal.

“She loves her big sister, she thinks she’s hilarious and yea she’s just a really fun baby,” Corrigan said.

Dr. Barr says he encourages families to wash their hands frequently, stay home if their child feels sick, and contact their local doctor if symptoms worsen.