Enterovirus D68 found in Two Children in Seattle

Enterovirus D68 found in Two Children in Seattle

Health officials confirmed on Friday that two children had contracted enterovirus D68, which has affected at least 160 patients in 22 states.

Enterovirus D68 was confirmed in two children through tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after they were admitted at Seattle Children's with respiratory symptoms. The health condition of the two children is better now and they both have been discharged from the hospital.

The confirmation of enterovirus D68 has led to fears of likelihood of other cases. Experts have suggested that the danger appears mostly for children with underlying health conditions, particularly asthma. No vaccine or specific treatment has been developed for D68 as of now and it won't make any sense to test every child with respiratory distress, said James Apa, spokesman for Public Health, Seattle & King County. He said the sole motive behind the testing is to determine that D68 is there.

Dr. Danielle Zerr, chief of pediatric infectious disease at Seattle Children's hospital, said no child has succumbed to D68 there or in other states, but it still makes parents worried about their children's future.

Zerr advised parents to keep a watch on their children to notice any difficulty in breathing and wheezing, especially in kids with asthma.

"If your child does not have these symptoms, then you do not need to seek hospital care. If your child is exhibiting these symptoms, take them to the emergency room as soon as possible. If your child is in severe respiratory distress, call 911", said Zerr.

Public-health officials have suggested parents of children with asthma to develop and stick to an anti-asthma plan.


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