The United State’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed a rare, potentially severe respiratory virus has led to sickened children in more than a dozen states has surfaced in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
According to the CDC, a total of 140 people in 16 states (Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia) have been confirmed to have the respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses, which cause mild cold-like symptoms for up to 15 million people in the U.S. each year. But this particular strain of the virus, first identified in California in 1962, can be severe, the CDC said.
Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body and muscle aches, while those who have been hospitalized have had difficulty breathing.
Infants and children are at particular risk, because they do not yet have immunity from previous exposures to the viruses, the CDC said, noting that in Missouri and Illinois, children with asthma seemed to have a higher risk of coming down with the respiratory illness.
There is no specific treatment for people with EV-D68 and no vaccine to prevent it.