Rare Virus Hospitalizes Hundreds of Children Across South and Midwest

The respiratory ailment enterovirus is believed to be causing a mass hospitalization of children across parts of the country.

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An outbreak of enterovirus, which carries symptoms common to a normal summer cold, is said to be responsible for an uncharacteristically high number of hospitalizations among children in the Midwest and South. As The Washington Post  reported:

This particular outbreak is associated with an unusually high number of hospitalizations — Children’s Hospital Colorado has reported more than 900 cases since Aug. 18, while Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., has seen about 30 children per day with the illness, the Denver Post reported.

September has always been peak season for the ailment, however, the intensity of the cases, which have caused difficulty in breathing for some children, has compelled medical officials to reach out to the Center for Disease Control for help. As CNN noted:

Ten states have contacted the CDC for assistance in investigating clusters of enterovirus -- Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.

Speaking with CNN, Mark Pallansch of the C.D.C. warned that this outbreak may be "just the tip of the iceberg in terms of severe cases."

Reports of the virus, which was first identified in the early 1960s, have been rare throughout the years. However, with this growing spate of hospitalizations, local governments will likely begin to take action to raise awareness about the spread of the virus and urge preventative measures in the coming days.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.