What You Need to Know About the Uncommon Virus Sending Children to ERs

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Virus Affecting Tweens

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says health officials in 10 states have asked for help combating an uncommon virus that is sending tweens and teens to the hospital in record amounts.  The enterovirus D68 or EV-D68 is a distant cousin to polio and causes respiratory problems.  This particular strain is rare although the enterovirus itself is extremely common.

Currently spreading through Missouri and the Midwest, EV-D68 is particularly dangerous for tweens and teens with respiratory problems such as asthma. But the enterovirus itself isn’t deadly.  There are hundreds of strains of the enterovirus that cause late summer colds right when children return back to school.

Doctors are having a difficult time figuring out why this particular strain is sending so many children to the hospital.  Kansas City, Missouri has seen more than 30 children a day being admitted to the hospital with 15% of them going to the intensive care unit.

Symptoms of the Enterovirus D68 include:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • In some cases, a rash, fever and wheezing

Doctors warn that there is no vaccine for the virus and antibiotics don’t work to cure it.  The best way to prevent the spread of the enterovirus is through practicing good hygiene.  The good news is that the virus itself isn’t deadly and children who receive treatment for breathing problems will recover.


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