Enterovirus 68 causes respiratory illness that has a lot of neurological issues showing symptoms like paralysis, nervous breakdown and muscle weakness. In Colorado, a number of children have been affected by this virus.
Between August 8th and Sept 17th 9 cases of infection in children were confirmed by the Colorado health officials who showed symptoms that were related to the Enterovirus 68. All of these children developed neurological symptoms and also children who have asthma or other respiratory issues showed severe breathing problems.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the District of Columbia has been affected except 10 states and there were over 277 confirmed cases, most them affected are children. Further, the health officials have been called in to investigate and look for symptoms.
According to the director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there is no need to panic as the number of cases is very less and proper health measures are being put in place. Further the health officials do not think that it looks like polio infection because over 80% of the affected children are up-to-date on their polio vaccinations. Eight patients showing symptoms were tested by CDC and four of them tested positive for Enterovirus -68 while the other two tested positive for different strains of Enterovirus which have been unidentified.
In this fall season, outbreaks of Enterovirus and Rhinovirus are common. In most cases, if the symptoms are not severe, they go undiagnosed. However, this year the outbreak is a little complicated with children suffering from respiratory issues, specifically have been affected severely. All confirmed cases are still hospitalised as none of the children out of the muscle weakness yet is according to the CDC reports. CDC further added that no cases of seizures or altered mental state have been reported. Further the doctors are also watchful for any acute onset of limb weakness. MRI to be done to check for any large lesions in the grey matter of the spinal cord.
The officials are planning to hold meeting for the School nurses and they have asked the parents to monitor for symptoms like skin rashes, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever, mouth blisters and body and muscle aches. Hygienic practices like watching the hand with a good soap for about 20 seconds, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, sharing cups, avoiding kissing and hugging the infected should be done according to the health officials.