The US health officials on Friday said that the mysterious respiratory virus, which is responsible for sending dozens of children to hospitals in the Midwest, has now turned its way to the Northeast.
According to the officials, the New York state hospitals have confirmed over a dozen cases of enterovirus D68 by Friday.
FoxCT.com reports that the two Connecticut hospitals have reported possible cases of the respiratory virus infections.
The target groups of enterovirus D68 are children with asthma. Unfortunately, there is no possible cure or vaccine to treat the disease.
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control has received 97 confirmed cases of enterovirus D68 since mid of August.
The federal health body has earlier this week confirmed cases of the virus in 11 out of 14 samples from Chicago and 19 out of 22 samples from Kansas City, Missouri. The cases were found among the children in the age group 16 weeks to 16-year-old and who had a medical history of wheezing and asthma.
Issuing a statement, acting New York state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “It is important that we follow common sense rules to prevent the spread of this virus, as we do for flu and other contagious illnesses. Because there is no specific treatment or vaccination against this virus, our best defense is to prevent it by practicing proper hygiene.”
The doctors have recommended the patients and all the uninfected children to take basic sanitary precautions, including avoiding sharing of items with sick people, washing their hands, and maintain other basic hygienic conditions.
According to the doctors, enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person. They can even spread by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus or by touching the infected people.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, asked the clinicians across the United States to be on the high alert to check the increasing cases of severe respiratory illness.
“Geography isn’t that helpful when it comes to respiratory viruses. We know that flu transits the entire country pretty quickly,” Schuchat said.
Among the most common symptoms for enteroviruses infection include rashes, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, cold and cough and even neurological illnesses. Doctors recommend the parents to take medical assistance as soon as their child develops minor cold symptoms.
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