Children continue to seek treatment across the country for Enterovirus D68

Posted at 10:00 PM, Sep 09, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Reports of children being admitted to emergency rooms across the country continue with symptoms consistent with Enterovirus D68.

For some children, the symptoms are severe and come on quickly.  That was the case for a 4-year-old boy named D’Mari Lockwood in Chicago.

“Struggling to breathe, coughing. They said the airways were so tight they actually, in Gary, said I almost lost him,” said Lakeia Lockwood, the child's mother.

It was the same thing for a 12-year-old boy who was rushed to a Kansas City emergency room.

"I guess it was a good thing because I was kind of dropping below regular oxygen levels pretty quickly," said 12-year-old Weston Guetterman.

These are two extreme examples in which the patients had prior conditions at work.  Both had asthma.

Medical experts said Enterovirus D68 has symptoms like a common cold.  The respiratory symptoms are often where the complications occur.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1,000 children in ten states have been admitted to hospitals with symptoms associated with the illness.

That number is expected to grow as children are now back in a school setting, thus making it easier for the virus to spread.

Hand-washing is considered the best way to prevent the spread of the virus.  At this point there is no vaccine for the illness and no cure either.

Although dozens of patients have been admitted in critical condition, having trouble breathing, no deaths have been associated with the virus.