By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS)– Pediatric emergency rooms across Chicago and the suburbs are seeing a major increase in patients, but it’s not due to COVID.

Physicians blame an early onset of winter viruses, like RSV,  for filling up area emergency rooms. They credit Chicago and suburban high vaccination rates for the lower number of COVID cases.

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But they’re now asking parents to think about what type of care is best before rushing to the emergency room.

“To best do that, you can talk with a medical provider to help understand where you will be best served,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

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In Chicago, 62 percent of children 12 to 17 have had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

Doctors say the best thing parents can do is encourage all adults to get vaccinated to protect younger children who aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff