NORTHEAST OHIO (WOIO) - Many parents are on high alert after hearing about a debilitating respiratory illness that affects children. Health officials say EV-D68 or Enterovirus 68, made hundreds of children in the Denver area sick, and now the virus is being reported in other states, including Ohio.
Here in Cleveland, Leanne Hudson took her son to the emergency room at MetroHealth Medical Center first thing Sunday morning.
"I was worried. I was going to take him last night, and he was like, 'no, I'm fine. I'm fine. Just take me in the morning.' And, then when he woke up today, he was still having trouble breathing," said Leanne Hudson.
"I've been sick and coughing a lot," said Leanne's son, Richard Burns.
Leanne's son also has asthma and that has her even more worried. EV-D68 or Enterovirus 68 is an extremely rare virus that seems to start as the common cold and then escalates into respiratory distress. Kids who have asthma or who are under the age of 5 are more at risk.
One parent in the Denver area said her son's lips turned blue; he passed out, and his eyes rolled back into his head after contracting the virus. She had to dial 9-1-1. Her son is reported to be doing better now, though.
In the Denver area, more than 900 children have been treated for the illness.
"There is no antibiotic for it. It's kind of scary, kind of scary," adds Hudson.
Samples from children with upper respiratory illness in the Columbus area are now being tested for Enterovirus 68.