Q & A on the enterovirus
Medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are keeping a close watch on the outbreak of a severe respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D68. Since mid-August through mid-September 16, there have been 130 people, in 12 states, with confirmed cases. Those affected are likely to be infants, children and teenagers who do not yet have immunity from previous exposures to these viruses.
One of the states with confirmed cases is Illinois, where children who became very ill had difficulty breathing and wheezing. Dr. Ronda Oram, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., says they are seeing an increased number of children hospitalized with respiratory illness. But, Dr. Oram says parents should not panic if a child has sniffles or a mild cold.
For mild respiratory symptoms, parents can give a child over-the-counter medication for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children. If parents are in doubt about the severity of their child’s condition, they should consult their pediatrician.
About the Author
Mickey Ramirez, health enews contributor, is the director of Brand Services. He enjoys kimchi, honesty and a room with a view. He claims to not be a writer, but he occasionally learns information that is just too important to keep to himself.