Doctors on the lookout for enterovirus. No Joplin confirmed cases yet.

Doctors on the lookout for enterovirus. No Joplin confirmed cases yet.
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It’s a virus taking more than ten states by storm, causing some kids to end up hospitalized.

It’s called enterovirus D-68.

The Missouri Health Department issued an alert to health providers.

Local pediatricians will now be looking out for cases.

Five year old John Ramsey gets examined for a possible ear infection

His mom April says, “We’ve had a fever for several days. We decided to wait it out see if it was just a virus. When he started complaining of ear pain we decided to come see a doctor.”

Dr. Fred Wheeler says, “It’s probably infected.”

High fever is symptom of enterovirus. It’s hitting those with existing respiratory conditions like asthma the worst.

While Joplin has no reported cases Dr. Wheeler had some asthma cases this summer that fit the bill.

Dr. Wheeler says, “We didn’t test for the enterovirus. We treated them for their respiratory problems. They responded the way we expect them to but we were a little surprised we had kids in the hospital.” He says the older children had asthma problems that usually don’t appear until September and were more severe than usual.

Amanda Winget brings four kids to see the doctor. Two end up with strep. Now she’s concerned about enterovirus

Amanda says, “I have twin infants that are five months old. They’re susceptible to a lot of different things and the old kids going to school coming home with all kinds of cooties. You never know what they’re going to be exposed to in that capacity.”

Along with fever, symptoms are like a common cold or flu. Parents wonder how to tell the difference.

Winget wonders, “Because when they’re teething, they’re gonna have a fever. So you know, is it teething or do they now have this virus?”

Wheeler says they can be treated at home.

“If they’re not having any trouble breathing and not acting like they’re getting dehydrated, and if they’re able to walk around move head up and down and act like just a little sick.”

Prevention is some common advice.

Wheeler says, “Hand washing, ok. Don’t cough on people. If your child is sick don’t send them to school.”

Dan Pekarek, director of the Joplin health department says, ” The same kind of things you’re gonna think about cold and flu season although we’re just on the very beginning of that. The same kind of stuff. Hand washing especially if respiratory symptoms. Touching things, handles of doors, you know, grocery store touching cart handles, all those kinds of things that are touched by lots of people. Wash your hands frequently. Don’t touch your mouth. Dont touch your eyes.”

Advice April is taking.

“We’re just taking precautions to wash our hands and just hope we don’t catch it.”