Tags: respiratory virus and children | EV-D68 outbreak

Children's Respiratory Virus Spreads Across U.S.

By    |   Monday, 08 September 2014 07:38 AM

An unparalleled cold-like virus has made over 1,000 children sick around the country, CNN reported.

"It's worse in terms of scope of critically ill children who require intensive care. I would call it unprecedented. I've practiced for 30 years in pediatrics, and I've never seen anything quite like this," said Dr. Mary Anne Jackson of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

The respiratory virus has not been officially identified though it is suspected to be the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) for which some children have tested positive.

The outbreak has struck youngsters in 10 states and is likely to spread across the country, ABC News reported. The EV-D68 was last noted in the U.S. from 2008 to 2010, according to CNN.

The states affected so far include Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, and North Carolina, said Mark Pallansch of the Center for Disease Control, according to CNN.

"It is only 10 states now, but it's going to be across the country. So if your state doesn't have it now, watch for it, it's coming," said Richard Besser, health and medical editor for ABC News.

At Denver's Children's Hospital physicians saw more than 900 pediatric patients in their ER suffering with the respiratory virus between Aug. 18 and Sept. 4. Of these, the hospital admitted 86, with a small number requiring intensive care treatment, ABC reported.

The symptoms can change quickly from a runny nose, sneezing, and coughs to difficulty in breathing. Those most at-risk are children with asthma or chronic allergies, ABC reported.

Other symptoms can include fever, achiness, and a rash, according to CNN.

In acute cases children in the intensive care unit have had to be intubated with a breathing tube. "As a pediatric ICU doctor, we try our best not to intubate kids with asthma at any point in time," said Dr. Raju Meyappan of Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, ABC reported.

The CDC said that basic hygiene — regular hand-washing, staying clear of those already sick, and covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing — can slow the spread of the virus.

Doctors think the virus began to spread as children in some localities started to return to school toward the end of August. In some places the outbreak has already peaked, CNN reported.

There is no vaccine currently available for EV-D68.

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An unparalleled cold-like virus has made over 1,000 children sick around the country.
respiratory virus and children, EV-D68 outbreak
Monday, 08 September 2014 07:38 AM
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