WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – You might hear it at the workplace, at home, or at school, coughing and sneezing. The start of cold weather means sicknesses are on the rise.

Doctors say viruses are spreading much earlier this year, including RSV, the flu, and COVID-19. Some cases are more severe than others, and hospitals are feeling the impacts.

One family just had premature twin boys who are now being treated at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis for human metapneumovirus.

Daxton and Jude, premature twins born to Zackary Rose (KSN Photo)

It was Thanksgiving week when the Rose family noticed their 5-week-old son, Daxton, wasn’t feeling well.

“Just kind of had mild symptoms and just progressively got worse, and then Friday is when Jude got sick,” said the dad of the twins, Zackary Rose.

They took the twins to a hospital in Pratt, but due to low oxygen, Daxton was rushed to St. Francis in Wichita.

“Different from years past, we are having a wave of many, many typical winter viruses happening all at once,” said Ascension Via Christi Pediatrician Amy Seery.

Daxton and Jude are continuing to recover day by day. They are expected to go home soon.

“Dax is still on oxygen, and Jude is doing good. They offer a really good clinic over here for suction,” said Rose.

Over at Salina Regional Health Center, the urgent care and ER are busy. Wait times have reached three hours at some points.

“It’s not uncommon now to have 10-12 patients in our emergency room just waiting for a bed upstairs,” said Salina Regional Health Center Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Rob Freelove.

At Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, the RSV test kits it uses are on backorder, and some elderly patients are starting to get the virus as well.

“We’ve been picking and choosing and making sure that we are picking the really necessary tests to do,” said Lab Manager and Medical Technologist with Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, Adina Young.

Some facilities have changed protocols to try and stop the spread, but doctors say without past mask mandates, illnesses were expected to rise.

“It kind of makes me nervous for late December/January,” said Freelove.

“If you think there is anything wrong, even if it is nothing, do not hesitate to go to the hospital ’cause it could turn south real fast,” said Rose.

Experts are stressing everyone to make sure they are washing their hands and stay home if they’re sick.