It’s no Ebola, but the fast-spreading respiratory infection called Enterovirus 68 has parents across the nation in a minor state of panic. That’s because enterovirus presents pretty much the same as the common cold in most patients… but a certain percentage of children develop serious breathing problems from uncontrollable wheezing and coughing, and have to be hospitalized.
The current infection began in the Midwest; yesterday, the first case of the virus was confirmed in Baltimore County. A nine-year-old boy was hospitalized two weeks ago with what turned out to be the virus. “He started coughing and I noticed he was getting blue around his mouth and he was wheezing. I could hear him from across the room,” his mother told WJZ. (He’s fine now.)
Parents with children who have asthma or other breathing concerns should be on the lookout — if your child experiences respiratory distress, he or she may need to be hospitalized. But there’s no need to freak out if your kid gets the sniffles; other than making it hard to breathe, enterovirus has no lasting effects, and there is no specific antiviral treatment as of now.
Here’s what the CDC has to say about staying safe:
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