BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the largest outbreak of enterovirus D68 ever recorded, and new cases are coming in every day. There have been ten confirmed here in Maryland in just the last three weeks.
Now doctors want parents to be vigilant about any possible symptoms they see.
Christie Ileto reports.
Preschooler Eli Waller is the first confirmed death of enterovirus D68 this year. His father says he had no cold, no fever, no clear symptoms.
“I put him to bed about 7 o’clock, and the next morning, he was no longer with us,” father Andy Waller said.
The virus moves fast, appearing as a common cold, with runny nose or coughing.
“Most cases of enterovirus are going to be mild and give mild symptoms,” said Dr. Ashanti Woods at Mercy Medical Center.
Dr. Woods explains those with asthma are at higher risk.
“As we head to flu season, the flu is another virus that can indeed give us respiratory symptoms,” he said. “Our children are at risk for having two viruses at the same time possibly.”
It’s unclear why there’s an outbreak. To date, 691 people have been infected. Here in Maryland, the health department says the number of cases has multiplied tenfold.
Just because there have been ten reported cases here in Maryland, the health department says it’s likely there have been more than ten people that have gone to emergency rooms with respiratory problems that haven’t been tested for enterovirus.
Nine-year-old Drew caught the first case of the year in Maryland last month.
“We expect enterovirus to be on the rise again in the coming months,” Dr. Woods said.
Doctors are now bracing to battle a bug that’s already claimed one life.
Doctors say one of the easiest ways you can stop the spread of enterovirus is to wash your hands.
The typical enterovirus season runs from July through October.
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