OUTBREAK: Hospital Sets Patient Record As Mystery Virus Sweeps Country

(USA Today) -- Medical officials admitted a record number of children to an Ohio hospital over the weekend because of what they believe to be a rare respiratory virus spreading throughout the country.

Although there’s been no confirmed cases of the enterovirus at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, officials admitted 540 patients Friday, said Dr. Derek Wheeler, associate chief of staff at the hospital.

Officials in 10 states are reporting cases of respiratory illness, some severe enough to send children to hospitals.

In Kansas City, Mo., more than 300 cases of respiratory illnesses were reported last month, according to the state Department of Health and Senior Services. About 15% of the illnesses resulted in children being placed in an intensive care unit, according to a health alert issued Aug. 29.

Ten states have contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for help in investigating enterovirus — Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky, according to WXIA-TV.

Enteroviruses, with symptoms similar to an intense cold, hits its peak in September, according to medical officials.

But it is unusual that there have been so many hospitalizations, CNN reports.

The number of hospitalizations reported could be “just the tip of the iceberg in terms of severe cases,” Mark Pallansch, director of the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases, told CNN.

Pallansch said the division is looking into the situation. 

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