Doctors are concerned a mystery virus that’s sickened more than 1,000 children could become a nationwide outbreak.
Symptoms start out like the common cold but then quickly get worse, sending kids to the hospital because they can’t breathe.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suspects it’s a rare virus called Human Enterovirus 68, but it hasn’t been officially identified yet. “This could just be the tip of the iceberg” says the CDC. There is no vaccine for it.*
“We’re in the middle of looking into this. We don’t have all the answers yet,” Mark Pallansch, a virologist and director of the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases, told CNN.
At least 10 states have contacted the CDC about similar cases. A hospital in Colorado has seen more than 900 patients so far and one in Kansas City has reported more than 300 cases.
Doctors say children under 5 years old and those with asthma are the most vulnerable.
* Better than a vaccine: let’s build our kids’ immune systems starting today!