By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kids in Virginia are coming down with what doctors suspect is the potentially deadly enterovirus strain that has hospitalized children in the midwest—so the obvious question is, will it move into Maryland?

Pat Warren has more on what parents should look for.

The short answer is yes, there’s a likelihood that the virus will show up in Maryland and children are especially vulnerable.

A killer cold hits in Chicago and Denver.

“A lot of kids were sneezing. I got sneezed on twice. It’s pretty nasty,” said one.

“I know I was scared; I remember thinking I was going to die,” said another.

Enterovirus D68 is spreading through the Midwest, now Virginia and possibly Maryland—making schools its playground and shocking parents with how fast sneezing can morph into wheezing.

“A child can’t catch his or her breath or can’t speak clearly. Severe respiratory distress; that would be the sign to call 911 and/or get your child into the emergency department,” said Dr. Ashanti Woods.

It should put parents on the alert.

“It’s very possible that a child has already had an enterovirus infection and we don’t even know it because it caused the common cold symptoms. If, however, this cold seems to linger, bad cold, child doesn’t get better, that will be a sign for a parent to take their child to be evaluated by a medical professional,” Woods said.

Lots of handwashing, drinking liquids and keeping sick children home from school are the best precautions against the spread of the disease.

Virginia hospitals are waiting for the CDC to determine if the children hospitalized there have the virus. There are no reports of the disease surfacing in Maryland.

Children with asthma or other breathing disorders are particularly vulnerable.

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