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Sunday, September 07, 2014

US Outbreak Of "Rare" Illness Spreads To More States

By Susan Duclos, via All News PipeLine

Exactly how "rare" is an illness that has sickened more than 900 children since August 18, 2014 in just one state? How "rare" is it when multiple states are on alert and reporting up to 20-30 suspected cases a day with one state reporting a spike of 40 percent? Then one must ask, how is a virus supposedly so "rare" spreading from state to state?

Missouri was the first state to report more than 300 cases of suspected human enterovirus 68 aka HEV68 or EV68, which is being described as "rare" and "uncommon," yet state after state is seeing children being brought into hospital with severe respiratory problems.

Cases in Missouri, Colorado, Ohio, with some reporting that Kansas and Illinois are on the list and other reports indicating there has been a 40 percent increase in patients coming into emergency rooms with respiratory symptoms, with the Columbus Dispatch saying the number has risen in Ohio to an average of 73 patients per day with these symptoms.

One Colorado mother describes her experience:

"Tuesday evening he had a little cold," said his mother, Jennifer. "He's a pretty moderate asthmatic. He'd never gone to the hospital for it since he was 2. I just never dreamed that we needed to go to the hospital." 

After three treatments inhaling albuterol, the medicine used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness, William wasn't any better, his mother said. She was trying to reach his doctor, when she noticed he was unresponsive. 

"His lips were blue. He was white as a ghost," Cornejo said. "I turned him over, and his eyes were rolling back in his head. He was completely limp. But he was still breathing. I called 911."

The virus appears to spread through close contact with infected people .