Doctors: Watch ill kids for worsening symptoms


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Enterovirus D68 — the respiratory illness that has caused hundreds of children in the Midwest to be hospitalized — is likely already in Michigan, state health officials say.

The Michigan Department of Community Health told 24 Hour News 8 there are suspected cases in the state. Lab tests have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control to confirm whether patients actually have EV-D68.

The virus started showing up in Illinois and Missouri a few weeks ago. It can cause severe respiratory problems, especially for children who has asthma or other breathing problems. Though many children have been hospitalized after contracting the illness, there have not been any deaths.

Now that schools are back in session here in Michigan, health officials are reporting an increase in sick children.

Symptoms of EV-D68 are similar to other colds. Kids will likely have a runny nose and cough. Health officials say they don’t typically have a fever. If your child gets sick, you should make sure they get plenty of fluids and rest.

Doctors say that if their illness worsens, children may need breathing treatments or a respirator.

“If your child seems to be doing worse, not progressing like you think they would with the normal cold, you should take them in to be seen by some health care provider, because you don’t want to wait for the symptoms to develop into extreme distress,” Kimberley Greenwald, an infection prevention coordinator at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, said.

There is no vaccine for EV-D68.

Health officials stress that the best way to stay healthy is wash your hands frequently.

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Online:

The CDC on Enterovirus D68

CDC on recent outbreak

Michigan Department of Community Health on Enterovirus

 

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