Cut Your Child’s Risk Of Mystery Respiratory Virus

girl using inhalerIn recent weeks, more than 1000 children have been sickened – some hospitalized – by a yet-to-be confirmed respiratory illness and doctors believe the virus could spread nationwide. Good Morning America reports that outbreaks of the disease have been seen in 10 states: Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Oklahoma.

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Officials believe the disease is a rare and potentially fatal respiratory virus called human enteriovirus 68 and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) it is in the same family as the rhinovirus which causes the common cold.

“This is a very common time for outbreaks. Kids come back to school, they like to share things, they bring them home to their little brothers and sisters, and enteroviruses tend to occur in the summer,” ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser said. “But this one, this particular Enterovirus 68, is very rare and they have no idea why it showed up this year.”