The enterovirus D68 outbreak is sweeping across the US and CDC is evaluating if limb weakness and in some cases paralysis is associated with the virus infection.
CDC has released data about nine children who were infected by the respiratory virus had developed limb weakness and varying degree of paralysis.
Recent reports from Denver reveals that six of eight children who were suffering from enterovirus, four are suffering from enterovirus D68 while the remaining two are awaiting the results of their tests. CDC is investigating if enterovirus D68 is the cause of the neurologic symptoms. The tests of the spinal fluid samples have however showed that there is no evidence of the virus in the fluids. The tests for polio or the West Nile virus have also been negative. In rare cases it is possible that enteroviruses exhibit infectious symptoms mimicking polio viruses.
The enterovirus D68 infection is sweeping across the nation and the most predominant symptom seen is respiratory symptoms. The condition is worsened in patients already suffering asthma. The enterovirus infections can in general lead to limb weakness and occasionally varying degrees of paralysis.CDC has confirmed that there are 277 patients across 40 states. The figure can go higher since there is a paucity of test facilities for the virus.
Enterovirus symptoms include mild fever, cough, runny nose and congestion, muscle ache and mild rashes. Patients suffering with asthma need careful monitoring for the possibility of respiratory failure which could require artificial mechanical ventilation.
The infection has mostly affected patients from 6 months to 18 years. Majority of patients are between the ages of 3 to five years. There has been no fatality till date. The treatment schedule is mostly supportive and includes oxygen administration, anti-pyretic, steroids, and breathing exercises. Preventive measures include proper hand washing, good hygienic practices and disinfection techniques.