A published report suggests that health officials suspect the cause behind sickening of hundreds of children across in recent weeks is a rare respiratory virus.
A potentially severe virus has most recent paved its way to Colorado after it plagued hundreds of children across a 900-mile stretch in the Midwest including Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Georgia in recent weeks.
While test results has not declared it out yet for all of these locations, local doctors are blaming the root cause to be the emerging EV 68 virus.
According to a report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe that human enterovirus 68 is at the root of the epidemic.
Patients often complain of a rapid onset of cold-like symptoms and then suddenly they can’t breathe.
“My head started hurting and after that my lungs started sort of closing up. It felt different,” said 13-year-old Will Cornejo, of Lone Tree.
“He was in really bad shape. He came really close to death. He was unconscious at our house and white as a ghost with blue lips — he just passed out,” said Will’s mother, Jennifer Cornejo.
The symptoms are similar to cold, except more nasty, and is leading up to 30 children a day to seek care at one Kansas City hospital, where about 15% of the youngsters were placed in intensive care, officials said.
At Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, physicians report about 10 of the 20 beds in their pediatric intensive care unit are young people battling the virus. “Our pediatric floor is full of patients with pretty severe respiratory distress,” said Dr.Raju Meyappan.
As per the stament of officials at Children’s Hospital Colorado more than 900 children have undergone treatment since Aug. 18 for severe respiratory illness and admitted 86 to the hospital.
“We’ve been seeing a very high volume in our ER, ICU and among hospitalized patients. The hospital is very, very full,” said Dr. Christine Nyquist, a pediatric infectious disease physician. “Kids are getting (the virus) and having asthma complications.”
The virus (genus Enterovirus – family Picornaviridae – species HEV-D) – is just one of a large family of small RNA viruses that include the three Polioviruses, along with myriad non-polio serotypes of Human Rhinovirus,Coxsackievirus, echovirus, and human, porcine, and simian enteroviruses.
Though rarely witnessed in the United States, over the past 10 years this virus has been detected on the ascendant in China, The Netherlands, Japan, and the Philippines, sometimes producing significant outbreaks.
An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed at least 19 of the Kansas City children tested positive for Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
“Many infections will be mild and self-limited, requiring only symptomatic treatment,” it said. “Some people with several respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy.”
No vaccines has been developed yet against it. The symptoms includes fever, body aches, sneezing, coughing and rash.
Doctors are recommending individuals to wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick; disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. ; and stay home when feeling sick to reduce the risk of infection.