Health officials across several states and the CDC are becoming increasingly concerned about the rise in Enterovirus cases. While the virus itself isn’t that uncommon (this particular strain is), it is the severity that has health officials worried. So far, ten states have asked the CDC for help in investigating the viral outbreak.
According to WXIA-TV, the ten states are North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Iowa and Illinois.
The virus is following its normal peak in September, but it is the hospitalizations that have surprised officials. In Kansas City, MO, more than 300 cases of the virus were reported last month. Of those cases, 15% of the children landed in the ICU for treatment.
Symptoms of Enterovirus
Parents that have children with asthma or severe allergies should take note of the symptoms. They are at a greater risk of becoming severely ill from the virus. It presents as a severe cold. The normal symptoms apply. What doctors want parents to watch for is symptom progression. If a congestion turns into a fever, or difficulty breathing, immediately take your child to the doctor or ER.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for the virus. Treatment involves treating the symptoms of the virus. It will then just run its course. Those who become severely ill will be hospitalized to receive intensive supportive treatment.
In Colorado, more than 900 children have been seen for viral respiratory infections since August 18 according to CNN. Last week, KUSA-TV reported that Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver had five kids in the ICU and 20 more in the pediatric unit.
“This is the worst I’ve seen in my time here at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children,” Raju Meyeppan told the station. “We’re going to have a pretty busy winter at this institution and throughout the hospitals of Denver.”
The CDC is already warning that the level of hospitalizations could be the tip of the iceberg. So, if your child has a cold that gets progressively worse, a doctor visit is recommended immediately. Especially if your kid has any underlying breathing conditions such as asthma or allergies.