After spreading throughout the country, California’s first case of this virus has been confirmed by the state’s chief health official. All four of the cases were children aged from two years old to 13.
According to Dr. Ron Chaplain, the spread of the disease was expected; and as of this week, the CDC confirmed that 18 other states have confirmed cases of the virus.
“There will definitely be more. It’s just a matter of time. This will spread across the entire country,” Dr. Pia Pannaraj, an infectious diseases specialist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles said.
While the virus starts off looking like a common cold, the symptoms are a little worse and should be looked out for by parents. They include:
- Runny Nose
- Body and muscle aches
The patients suffering the worst are those who have respiratory illnesses such as asthma, and parents of children with asthma need to be on the lookout.
“These children start with what seems like a normal cold on the first day – runny nose, a little bit of a cough – but by the second day, they can’t breathe at all. They come in and they need a tube to help them breathe,” Pannaraj said.
The virus is believed to spread from sneezing or coughing and contaminating other surfaces. Doctors recommend teaching children to wash their hands regularly for 2o seconds, and to clean areas with bleach. The CDC advises these precautionary steps for parents to help prevent their children from becoming ill–as children are the more susceptible to the virus, according to the CDC, because their immune systems are not as strong:
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- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Wash your hands often
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
- Clean and disinfect surfaces
- Stay home when you’re sick