There is a respiratory virus affecting record numbers of children in the Midwest that is prompting local officials to prepare in case it reaches New Jersey.
Cases of EV-D68, an enterovirus which acts like a cold with more severe symptoms, had been reported in children in at least 10 states by Tuesday morning, with the most reported cases in Missouri and Illinois.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, EV-D68 is difficult to distinguish
from a common cold, so there may be many more
unreported cases out there.
The CDC said Monday the outbreak would likely get
worse before it gets better.
"Respiratory infections like this can spread quite
quickly across the U.S.," said Anne Schuchat, director
of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and
Respiratory Diseases. "We want people to be on the
In all, hundreds of children have been hospitalized
so far, and infants, children and teenagers with
asthma are most at risk because the symptoms may
exacerbate the condition.
Enteroviruses are common and occur mostly in the
summer and fall, peaking in September.
There are more than 100 types and 10 to 15 million
cases occur every year, many of which cause
respiratory illness. Symptoms are more likely in
infants, children and teens. Most people infected with
enteroviruses do not get sick.
EV-D68 is a less common and rarely reported
enterovirus. Initial symptoms are similar to a bad
cold, but those symptoms may transition to mild to
severe respiratory illness and fever.
There is no vaccine for EV-D68, which was first
identified in 1962 and there is no specific treatment
for the virus. Most cases are mild, according to the