Health

Mystery Illness Hits Kids In Midwest, Baffles Doctors

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Hundreds of children have become ill in the Midwest, possibly due to a respiratory virus.

In Kansas City, around 450 children have been treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and at least 60 received intensive hospitalization, reports CNN.

"It's worse in terms of scope of critically ill children who require intensive care. I would call it unprecedented. I've practiced for 30 years in pediatrics, and I've never seen anything quite like this," said Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, the hospital's division director for Infectious Diseases.

"We've had to mobilize other providers, doctors, nurses. It's big," Jackson said.

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The virus causes symptoms similar to a cold, including fever, body and muscle aches, sneezing, coughing, and rash, but to a worse degree.

Dr. Jackson claims the problem started around August 17, right around the time kids went back to school, and peaked between August 21 and 30.

Missouri is not the only state affected. Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio are also reporting cases with symptoms similar to the same virus.

Test results are pending in what may be a regional outbreak.

Mother Jennifer Cornejo, of Denver, Colorado, took her son, Will, to the hospital after his cold symptoms worsened.

“It was like nothing we've ever seen,” Cornejo said. “He was unresponsive. He couldn't speak to me. He was turning white and his lips turned blue.”

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report identified 19 cases in Kansas City testing positive for Enterovirus D68 or EV-D68, a virus that usually only causes mild asthma-like symptoms but can be more severe in specific cases.

There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 and no vaccine is available.

Ventilation is the best way to assist infected patients.

The Daily Mail reports that there is no data supporting deaths related to EV-D68 in the United States.

Sources: CNN, CDC Report, Daily Mail

Photo Source: CNN