Fil-Am toddler among Midwest kids infected in recent viral outbreak

By Connie Macatula De Leon, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Sept. 11, 2014

CHICAGO – Two-and-a-half year old Vincent Guevara has all the symptoms of a severe respiratory illness that is spreading across the Midwest, and his 21-year-old mother is worried.

“I was scared when I found out it was in Illinois,” said Hazel Guevarra. “It gives me anxiety. I don’t like knowing that he is sick and that he is uncomfortable.”

“He’s coughing, he has runny nose. He started a fever two days ago. When we went to the doctor and they checked his temperature, it was 102,” she continued.

The culprit is a bug called Enterovirus D68 – a rare and contagious strain of the same virus that causes summer colds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that since August, over a thousand children in the Midwest, mostly from Illinois and Missouri, have been infected.

“I don’t like that daycares and schools are breeding grounds for viruses,” said Guevarra, “But we wash his hands when he gets home. He likes to wash his hands.”

The virus can be spread from the saliva, nasal mucus, and from fecal contamination. Children with asthma or any other respiratory illnesses are mostly at risk.

“It’s pretty much a guessing game – need to find out what’s wrong,” said Guevarra. “It’s stressful because I try to juggle work, school and him at the same time.”

Dr. Maureen De La Cruz, a family medical physician, says, “Usually, ang mga signs and symptoms ng Enterovirus D68 ay katulad ng sintomas ng ordinaryong sipon. Ubo, sipon at lagnat, hirap sa paghinga or tinatawag na wheezing.”

She also says that red flags and signs one should be taken to the hospital are high fever or difficulties with breathing.

Just like other cold viruses, Enterovirus D68 has no specific treatment. Dr. De La Cruz encourages patients to be aware of proper hygiene and to get a lot of rest.

“Unang una, pinakamahalaga, maghugas ng kamay gamit ang sabon at tubig,” she says. “Pangalawa, disinfect o linisin ang mga surfaces o mga bagay na lagging hinahawakan. Pinakaimportante yung isang batang may sakit na hinihinala nating may virus, ihiwalay sila sa mga batang walang sakit.”

“Be patient because if you are not patient, it’s going to be harder on you,” said Guevarra. “If they do get sick, it’s easier to be calm, take things slowly than to be rushed and be anxious.”

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  • Mario
    12 September 2014 at 3:35 am - Reply

    This respiratory disease is the direct result on Obama’s dumping of 60,000 illegal kids into your State.CDC tried to cover-up and said this is just normal.