MISSOURI — A respiratory virus called Enterovirus EV-D6 is sending hundreds of children to hospitals across the Midwest. Officials are saying that the rare number of hospitalizations could be the “tip of the iceberg in terms of severe cases”, as the illness seems to be getting worse.
“We’re in the middle of looking into this, we don’t have all the answers yet“, said Mark Pallansch, a virologist and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Diseases.
The symptoms that come along with the virus are pretty common. The virus brings cold-like symptoms and is common in the summer but the numbers of hospitalizations are alarming. Most of the children who were sent to hospitals across the Midwest were sent to intensive care.
Close to 475 children were recently treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas.
At least 60 of them received intensive hospitalization, spokesman Jake Jacobson said. “It’s worse in terms of scope of critically ill children who require intensive care. I would call it unprecedented. I’ve practiced for 30 years in pediatrics, and I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” said Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, the hospital’s division director for infectious diseases.
“We’ve had to mobilize other providers, doctors, nurses. It’s big,” she said.