Rare virus causing illness confirmed in Oklahoma

Ponca City Now - September 17, 2014 6:28 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health says a virus causing respiratory illness in children has been confirmed in Oklahoma.

The department says enterovirus D68 is a relatively rare virus. It had been confirmed in 11 other states, including Missouri, Kansas and Colorado.

The Centers for Disease Control says seven of 24 specimens submitted from Oklahoma hospitals and laboratories tested positive for the virus. The virus has been associated with an increase in pediatric admissions at hospitals in central Oklahoma.

Symptoms of the virus are similar to the common cold, but the illness can rapidly progress in severity and cause wheezing and difficulty breathing.

State Epidemiologist Kristy Bradley says children under 5 and children with underlying asthma appear to be at the greatest risk of having medical complications.

 

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