KC Area Hit With New Viral Infection

Aug 30, 2014

A respiratory viral infection new to the Midwest struck a northern Missouri city during the past month, according to reports.

The virus, human enterovirus 68 (HEV68) caused concern for staff at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital, reports indicate.

SEMO parents with children who are asthmatic might watch for symptoms to become more acute than normal. There is no vaccine to prevent HEV68. Antiviral drugs to treat the illness still are on drawing boards.

Those who suffer from HEV68 display asthma-like symptoms, and those hardest hit seem to be asthmatic children, doctors said. Their usual symptoms are aggravated and breathing becomes more difficult.

Although the virus usually manifests in clusters of four to 30 people, the Kansas City hospital was overrun with sick children this month, doctors said. August usually is a slow month for respiratory diseases, so the appearance of HEV68 was a surprise for physicians, reports state.

Tests administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resulted in positive findings of HEV68 for 19 among 21 intensive care patients, reports indicate.

Those afflicted with the virus are treated with intravenous fluids, oxygen and asthma medications, documents indicate.

SEMO kids who display mild symptoms should be treated as if they have a cold,

However, parents of Kansas City children with difficulty breathing were urged to take their kids to doctors for tests.