A surge in children contracting RSV, a serious respiratory illness, is filling pediatric beds at Naperville’s Edward Hospital and other suburban medical facilities and forcing some to wait long hours in ERs or be sent downstate for treatment.

The situation is one that’s growing nationally, with medical professionals at Edward and across the country surprised not only by the number of young patients requiring hospitalization for the virus but contracting it far earlier in the season than normal, said Dr. Carly Senescu, a pediatric specialist at Edward.

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