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Health

Study: Enterovirus That Hospitalized Hundreds No Deadlier Than Other Cold Germs

enterovirus_sick_girl_cynthia_page_flickr.jpg
Cynthia Page, flickr Creative Commons
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It turns out that enterovirus D68, which sent about 500 children to Children’s Mercy Hospital last fall and sickened hundreds of others across North America, is no deadlier than other common cold germs. Dan Margolies, reporting for Heartland Health Monitor, has the story.

Most affected patients will display symptoms of the common cold but some will develop more severe symptoms requiring medical attention.

A study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) says that while the virus was particularly aggressive, children with it didn’t have a greater risk of death than kids who caught other viruses.

That agrees with the findings of Children’s Mercy researchers, who also found that mortality rates and hospital stays were about the same for both groups. But the Children’s Mercy researchers also found that children with a history of asthma were more likely to be admitted to the ICU.

“Which is not incredibly surprising. A lot of these respiratory viruses hit asthmatics the hardest,” says Dr. Jennifer Schuster, one of the Children’s Mercy researchers.

What did surprise them, Schuster says, was that the virus tended to hit older kids harder than infants and toddlers. That, she says, is really unusual for respiratory viruses.