By Nurse Mark
I recently wrote about “The Mystery Virus” that has been striking down children all across the United States. Enterovirus D68 itself really isn’t much of a mystery – we’ve known about it for a long time. What is a mystery is why this once relatively harmless (if annoying) virus is suddenly putting kids into intensive care units with respiratory distress.
Now it seems that D68 is wreaking additional havoc among some kids: paralysis.
According to an article in WebMD Sept. 29, 2014:
Some children hospitalized with breathing problems caused by enterovirus D68 in Colorado, Virginia, and Kansas City have also developed unexplained paralysis in their arms and legs, officials say.
Doctors have been watching for paralysis in enterovirus patients affected by the current outbreak, which the CDC says has spread to at least 40 states.
According to the article the D68 enterovirus is related to the Polio virus which crippled thousands of children in the 1950’s.
Schaffner says that in many children, symptoms of paralysis will ease over time as inflammation and swelling of the tissues improves.
“But some of these illnesses can have a permanent residual paralysis, just like the old-timey polio did, because if those cells have been destroyed, there can be some residual paralysis,” he says.
And the article goes on to say:
There is no vaccine to prevent enterovirus D68. There are no effective treatments for the infection, either.
The best that the CDC and conventional medicine has to offer right now?
- Practice good hand-washing habits.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like toys and doorknobs.
Well thank you, that was helpful!
Please – if you have kids or grandkids – please take a moment to read our previous HealthBeat News article Keep Your Kids Safe From "The Mystery Virus" for some more useful suggestions.
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