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Unseasonal Virus Afflicting Children May Be Waning

The rare Enterovirus D68, which has afflicted hundreds of children since the start of August, may have peaked.

Children’s Mercy Hospital is currently seeing about 20 patients per day with the breathing difficulties, coughing and fever common to the virus, according to hospital spokesperson Jake Jacobson.

That’s compared with about 30 cases per day a week and a half ago.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the virus in 19 specimens from Kansas City and 11 specimens from Chicago in late August.

The virus is suspected to have infected between hundreds and thousands of children in 11 states, mostly in the Midwest.   

Of the 19 Kansas City patients in whom the virus was confirmed, the median age was four and nearly 68 percent were asthmatic, according to the CDC. 

There are no vaccines for the respiratory virus.

Children’s Mercy has treated about 500 children for the associated symptoms since early August. More severe cases have required breathing assistance. Most patients left the hospital in two to five days.

The hospital says it's now seeing less severe cases requiring fewer hospital admissions.

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