Methodist hospitals and Methodist Physicians Clinic locations are on alert for a virus making hundreds of kids across the Midwest sick. Doctors are bracing for a possible outbreak from a bug known as Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68.
In Kansas City, the virus has sent more than 30 children a day to one local hospital, with at least 15 percent being treated in intensive care units. In Denver, Children’s Hospital Colorado has reported more than 900 cases in less than a month. Only a few cases have even been reported in Omaha.
In total, the virus is quickly spreading in at least 10 states, including nearby in Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a possible regional outbreak, receiving virus samples from each state for identification.
So what do parents need to watch for?
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Every day it seems the numbers climb. Today, the official number of Ebola cases is nearing 1,900, with more than 1,000 deaths just since February. As the disease spreads, so does the fear and the rush to contain it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made the deadly Ebola virus their number one priority, working together to better understand and manage the public health risks posed by the disease. Because of the circumstances of the rampant outbreak with no known cure or vaccine, the WHO issued a statement saying it is ethical to offer experimental treatments to patients, even when the efficacy of those treatments are unknown.
There are glimmers of hope in the fight against Ebola. Canada announced yesterday it would donate 800 to 1,000 doses of its experimental Ebola vaccine developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada to the WHO. The vaccine is actually licensed to NewLink Genetics, a company in Ames, Iowa. The company says it could manufacture tens of thousands of doses over the next couple of months. Another vaccine is being developed by the National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline.
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