MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A respiratory virus affecting hundreds of children across the Midwest is now spreading across the country.
So far, authorities in 12 states have contacted the CDC for help in investigating the sickness and that includes North Carolina and Georgia. While no cases have been reported in South Carolina so far, local doctors say that can soon change.
The Centers for Disease Control believe its enterovirus also known as Virus D-68. It’s a rare strain of a common group of viruses. The virus mainly affects younger children under the age of five.
Area doctors say the symptoms are still developing as researchers learn more about the virus and its impact. While it usually starts out like a cold, one main sign to look for especially in children who have asthma is any type of wheezing or breathing problems.
There are no cases so far in South Carolina but doctors expect that to change soon especially here in Myrtle Beach.
“Oh yes, we definitely should be concerned about it. We should be on the lookout for it. Obviously being here in Myrtle Beach in an area where we’ve got people coming from all over the United States. I’m sure we’ll probably be exposed to it in a very short period of time.” Beach Urgent Care Doctor Ron Reynolds said.
Doctor Reynolds adds this virus just brings more concern considering this is the time of year where kids return to school are already more prone to get sick.
Some of the main symptoms parents should look for are a fever, cough, rash and upper respiratory issues like wheezing or trouble breathing.
Doctors say if you notice any of these symptoms affecting your child, while it’s ok to monitor them at first, there is a point where you should seek medical attention.
“If a child is you know running a temperature of you know say 101.5 and it’s not coming down on its own after a couple of days then that’s a red flag. They need to see their doctor at that point and time,” Reynolds added.
Reynolds says if the symptoms start off severe you should bring your child in immediately.
Doctors say the treatment plan will depend on the severity of the symptoms and respiratory problems. But recommend kids should have plenty of fluids, get enough sleep and most importantly wash their hands and let others know they’re sick.