There is still a mystery surrounding Enterovirus cases spreading around the country. Now the CDC is investigating possible connections between the virus and temporary paralysis. Although its symptoms are similar to the common cold, its rapid progression and severity makes it very different — with many cases ending up in Intensive Care. Hundreds are hospitalized in 11 states, at higher risk are children with asthma.
Here are some important things you should know:
• Highly contagious, spreadable by cough or sneeze, and also can live on surfaces. But full knowledge of how is spreads is unknown due to lack of scientific studies on the virus.
• Starts like common cold; Runny Nose, Coughing, sneezing and fever
• Progresses rapidly; difficulty breathing, possible loss of consciousness (look for wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty speaking)
Apparently this isn’t the first case of an outbreak of Enterovirus (EV-D68). According to a 2011 CDC report, from 2008 to 2010 there were clusters of Acute Respiratory Illness associated with EV-D68 across multiple continents including Asia, Europe and the United States. While it’s not the first time however, health officials are scratching their heads as to why it has reemerged… and with such voracity.
Particularly alarming is the lack of specific treatment for the virus and its, now possible, connection to acute onset of focal limb weakness — or temporary paralysis. Instead, health officials are tasked with treating the symptoms of the infection, often requiring hospitalization.
The CDC has a specific link for Healthcare Professionals on Evaluating, Reporting, Testing and Infection Control Recommendations here.