(WXIN) – Doctors across the US have seen an increase in children with the respiratory virus, which causes polio-like muscle weakness.

In most cases, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) causes respiratory disease with mild symptoms. However, it can cause a condition called Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) can cause inflammation of the spine. People who suffer from AFM may have trouble moving their arms, while others may experience muscle weakness. In severe cases, it can cause respiratory failure or life-threatening neurological problems.

According to the warning The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that children’s hospitalizations are increasing among patients with respiratory illness and who have tested positive for rhinovirus (RV) and/or enterovirus (EV). Some patients have tested positive for EV-D68 — and hospital sites are reporting higher numbers of EV-D68 patients than in previous years.

This isn’t the first time the EV-D68 has caused problems. In the year In 2014, outbreaks of enterovirus D68 were reported in several states. The outbreak has involved about 1,400 people, although a small number of people with mild symptoms have not been diagnosed.

In the year Increased activity has been reported in 2016 and 2018, with lower circulation likely in 2020 due to Covid-19 mitigation measures.

Between July 2022 and August 2022, the number of EV-D68 cases detected was higher than in the previous three years (2019, 2020 and 2021). While the CDC has not identified reports of an increase in AFM, the increase in AFM cases generally follows an increase in EV-D68 cases, the agency said.

of CDC alert It asks providers to look into EV-D68 as a cause of respiratory illness in children and warns that cases may increase in the coming weeks. Common symptoms for EV-D68 include coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Fever is present in about half of the cases.

“In rare cases, EV-D68 may cause AFM,” the CDC said in the alert. “This is a rare but serious neurological disorder that occurs primarily in children and typically causes sudden limb weakness.”

According to the CDC, symptoms of AFM include:

  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Pain in the neck, back, arms or legs
  • Difficulty swallowing or slurred speech
  • Difficulty moving the eyes or lifting the eyelids
  • Facial droop or weakness

The agency pointed out that there is no vaccine or specific treatment yet.

Infants, children, and adolescents are most susceptible to the virus. People who suffer from asthma may be more susceptible to severe cases of EV-D68.

CDC urges the public to follow common precautions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with sick people, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, and when you are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the sleeve of your shirt, not your hand
  • Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • If you have respiratory symptoms, consider wearing a mask around other people
  • If you or your child have trouble breathing or have sudden limb weakness, call a health care provider right away.
  • If you or your child has asthma, make sure you or your child are following an up-to-date asthma action plan.
  • Stay up to date on all recommended vaccinations

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