Mystery respiratory virus sends hundreds of kids to hospitals

September 10, 2014

Hospitals across the Midwest have been dealing with an influx of hundreds of child patients presenting with a mysterious respiratory virus, and some health officials warn it may be just “the tip of the iceberg,” according to a report from CNN.

Twelve states—Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Utah—have apparently contacted the CDC for assistance in investigating clusters of enterovirus. Colorado, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa have confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, also known as EV-D68.

An enterovirus is not necessarily uncommon; in fact, many common colds are often mistaken for an enterovirus, the reports says. The CDC estimates there are 10 to 15 million viral infections each year in the United States. The fact that so many cases of one particular viral infection is being found is causing officials to call them “regional outbreaks,” the report said.