DENVER (CBS4) – An outbreak of viral infections is affecting children in Colorado. The symptoms first seem like a cold, but they can turn more serious and can include neurologic complications, officials say.
The Colorado Department of Public Heath and Environment says most of the illnesses are associated with Enterovirus A71. It usually only causes mild symptoms.
They say Colorado has had 41 cases of the virus in children who’ve experienced weak limbs or even seizures. Nearly all patients have fully recovered, and there have been no deaths, officials say.
“All enteroviruses are spread through contact with an infected person’s feces; eye, nose and mouth secretions (such as saliva, nasal mucus or sputum); and fluid from blisters caused by the virus. Some people with enteroviruses have no symptoms but still can spread the virus to others,” said state health department officials in a news release on Tuesday.
They say there is no vaccination or treatment for enteroviruses. State officials are still asking doctors to make sure they are testing for the virus.
Information provided by CDPHE:
Parents and guardians should contact a health care provider if they or their children have:
- Severe symptoms such as sudden weakness in arms and legs, trouble breathing, unsteady walking, severe headache, stiff neck or seizures.
- Dizziness, wobbliness, or abnormal, jerking movements that are worse at night.
- Fever along with any other concerning symptoms.
To protect yourself and others from enteroviruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Be especially careful to wash your hands after using the toilet and changing diapers.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and don’t share cups and eating utensils.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you’re sick, and keep children home from school or daycare for 24 hours after fever ends or if they are drooling uncontrollably and have mouth sores.