A respiratory virus has affected kids in 10 US states

by Tim K

Doctors and parents are very concerned about a mysterious respiratory virus that has affected children in 10 US states. 

Fall is usually a flu season and time for viruses outbreak, but this virus is very rare. The illness is a respiratory virus, that brings common cold symptoms that are much more severe than regular cold. Hundreds of kids have been hospitalized after contacting a virus. According to official reports, the virus has infected kids in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, George and North Carolina.

The virus has not been identified by the US health officials, yet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a bug called Enterovirus 68 is what may be causing so many children to get sick. Enteroviruses are common, and cause about 10 to 15 million infections in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC. People are more likely to become sick with an enterovirus in late summer and fall, so it is not unusual for the common cold to be going around when children go back to school. But, the symptoms of this new virus have hit hard and fast. 1aaa2

Symptoms of the common cold shared by Enterovirus 68 include coughing, runny nose and sneezing. What makes this virus different is the way it affects the breathing system. Enterovirus 68 is causing sever wheezing and difficulty breathing. The symptoms become especially extreme for kids who have asthma.

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All affected states have reached out to the CDC for assistance in fighting this sickness. Like the common cold, this virus is likely to spread, and could reach other states.

There is no treatment or medication for this illness, but by taking proper health precautions, the virus can be stopped. 

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CDC strongly recommends:

  • Wash hands with soap. More thoroughly and more often.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you cannot wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with the non-washed hands.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hand.
  • Throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Stay home from school if you are sick.1a4