The spread of the virus has gained national attention for the number of severe respiratory illness cases that have affected children in the midwest but Dr. Raghu Kasetty at OSF St. Francis Hospital and Medical Group said parents should not panic about it.
“Initially they have common cold symptoms like runny nose, cough and fever. in some cases, it can get worse with respiratory distress. I don’t say we have to panic about it, just be vigilant,” he said. “If your child has cold symptoms just watch for breathing difficulty or rapid breathing.”
Dr. Kasetty says it can take a few days to two weeks to recover. Kids with asthma have been especially vulnerable.
“Enterovirus, per say, doesn’t have any specific medications for treatment. We provide supportive care and if there are any difficulties then we provide breathing treatments and oxygen in some cases,” Kasetty said.
Kasetty said he was surprised when the tests came back positive for the virus. He asked permission from the state Department of Public Health to conduct the tests on the children because the symptoms were similar to what he had been hearing about in the national news.
“The first step is to contact the state to see if they would approve the testing. Because testing is expense and more complex we cannot do testing on every child that has symptoms,” he said. “Once we get approval we collect a deep nasal swab and blood sample, send it to the state for analysis and they forward it to the CDC to get the testing done.”
It takes about two weeks for the tests results to be completed at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.