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The mystery of Enterovirus D68

Posted on October 7, 2014 by 40 Mile Commentator

The enterovirus 68 respiratory virus has been sweeping across the nation and has left many children with severe illness and even death. Some of the symptoms include that of a common cold, but people aren’t to be fooled, the cold may not be just a cold, it can worsen and if it does, individuals are strongly recommended to seek medical attention.

There are many different types of an enterovirus causing different symptoms. If you or your child has had a common summer cold, then that can be caused by an enterovirus. The D68 virus is however a different ball game. There is something about the D68 that causes much stronger symptoms. This type has been around since the 1960s and has popped up in the U.S and other countries, but it is unknown why it has become so strong and affecting so many this year. As for the timing, it makes perfects sense in the U.S, as it started in mid August and is continuing as children went back to school at that time, whereas us in Canada started the beginning of September.

Parents should take great caution in examining their child for any sort of difference in health. Just recently a boy in New Jersey was found dead after he didn’t wake up in the morning due to the virus.  This virus has been diagnosed in 500 people in 42 states, and has recently been tied to a mystery illness in children at a Calgary hospital. Signs of polio-like symptoms along with paralysis are some of the signs that have been experienced by the children at the hospital, and three out of the four have been tested positive for the enterovirus D68 at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Around 50 cases around the province of Alberta have been reported by Alberta Health Services with low numbers in the south zone. Parents of children with asthma or a history of asthma are told to take extra caution, as it is more common among them than others.

The patients affected most are children, and parents should look out for the following symptoms: high fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain, blue lips or any sort of rashes. Since this is an illness said by many pediatricians to happen quickly and spread quickly, parents are asked to go right away to a hospital if symptoms in their child worsen. To try and prevent this from spreading, people are asked to follow simple steps like washing your hands with soap frequently and sneezing or coughing into a Kleenex or your hand.

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