The Common Cold Gets an Upgrade


Briana Bowers, Writer

Since mid-August, 472 cases of Enterovirus D-68 have been confirmed in 41 states, and has now possibly infected more than half a dozen children in New Jersey. After the death of a 4-year-old Hamilton preschool student in September due to unidentified respiratory illness, seven more children were admitted to the hospital with the same issues.

All seven children have been released from the hospital. Their names have not been released, but they range from ages one to nine. Out of the four most recent cases, two were from Burlington County, along with Camden and Morris counties. The three other cases previously announced were from Essex, Passaic, and Sussex counties.

Testing was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ruling out the possibility of influenza. Enterovirus D-68 is now being tested and results will be announced in the upcoming days.

Symptoms of the virus include coughing, a runny nose, sneezing, body or muscle aches and low-grade fevers.

“Enterovirus D-68 is treated the same as any other respiratory illnesses that are seen in children this time of year. Parents and caregivers should be aware that children with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions such as asthma may experience severe complications and require hospitalization with supportive therapy,” said State Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd.