Connecticut and New York have reported possible cases of Enterovirus D68, a respiratory illness that is suspected of hospitalizing hundreds of children in 21 states in the South, Midwest and now Northeast. New York was the first state on the East Coast to report cases of the virus which attacks children, especially those with asthma. Enteroviruses are pretty common and the CDC estimates that 10 to 15 million people are infected with them each year. However, the Enterovirus D68 strain dates back to 1962 and hasn’t been widely reported in years which experts believe is part of the problem. This particular strain causes severe respiratory disease and there are currently no available vaccines or specific treatments for the virus. Symptoms typically look like those of the common cold but then can lead to difficulty breathing and wheezing. Experts say it is important to follow common sense rules such as practicing proper hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus.
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