October 23, 2014 – Enterovirus
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Anchor lead: Children around the US are becoming infected with an enterovirus, Elizabeth Tracey reports
While the world’s attention is focused on Ebola virus, another viral illness, enterovirus 68, has spread across the US, killing two young children so far, and possibly producing a type of paralysis in several others. Anna Minta, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, describes what is known about this bug.
Minta: Enterovirus is part of a group of viruses that typically cause the common cold in the summer and the fall. This year there have been an increase in cases of severe respiratory disease that’s associated with enterovirus. And the children that appear to be most at risk are children with asthma or other underlying respiratory problems. So for parents the important thing to know is that most children will be perfectly fine, but if their child has asthma or any other breathing problems they should be on alert to any signs of trouble breathing or wheezing. And that would be a reason to take their child to seek medical attention. :31
Minta says prompt attention if such problems develop is always best. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.