Doctors should be prepared for the possible increase in young patients with enterovirus D68, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday, and in rare cases, paralysis may be associated with more cases of acute flaccid myelitis.

Acute respiratory illnesses and emergency room visits caused by rhinoviruses and enteroviruses have increased in children and teens this summer, new CDC data shows. The increase may be due specifically to enterovirus D68, which, in rare cases, can lead to acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

“Health care facilities should prepare for increases in pediatric health care utilization related to severe EV-D68-related respiratory illness,” the CDC reported Tuesday. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “Past increases in EV-D68 prevalence are associated with increased AFM reports.”

AFM causes weakness and paralysis of the arms and legs.

The CDC has found an increase in enterovirus D68 every two years or so This monthThe agency warned doctors to be on the lookout for the disease. The virus peaks in late summer and early fall.

The data showed that positive test results for rhinovirus/enterovirus “appear to be increasing at a significantly faster rate than in previous EV-D68 outbreak years,” doubling in a few weeks through early September, the CDC said.

“The 2014 EV-D68 outbreak in the United States resulted in a similar increase in the number of medically treated severe respiratory infections and asthma and was associated with an increase in AFM cases,” the report said.

In addition to testing for AFM, health care providers are urging people with suspected AFM to test for poliovirus because of the similarities in symptoms.

Enterovirus D68 causes flu-like symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and sometimes fever. It requires doctors to take additional measures to diagnose.

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