Virus hospitalizes hundreds of kids in 10 states

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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Here’s a scene no parent wants to see: a child hooked up to breathing machines, just to stay alive.

“She just went from a cold to critical in just a very short time,” said Karen Maiorana of Colorado Springs, Colorado, when talking about the close call for her 9-year-old daughter Gabrielle.

She’s better now, but she is one of many across the country hit by the enterovirus D-68 that has sent hundreds of kids to hospitals in ten states, from Colorado to North Carolina.

And the sneaky thing about this virus is that it starts out just like the common cold.

Jeffrey Starke is the director of Infection Control at Texas Children’s Hospital. “If a child has a fever, high fever, for more than a couple of days, having a difficult time keeping down fluids, particularly if a child is working really hard to breathe , that should send a child to be seen by a physician immediately.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t know what caused the virus to flare up this year, but they fear this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Doctors say there are some things you can do to reduce the risk your child will get sick.

Wash hands with soap and water.

Clean and disinfect toys and surfaces like doorknobs.

Try not to shake hands, kiss, or hug others.

And this is the real no-brainer: avoid the green stuff.