A hospital in Illinois stopped children under 12 years of age from entering its buildings, as the area is witnessing an outbreak of an unknown virus which is causing respiratory issues among children. More than 70 children have been affected in the area so far.
The 70 children had come to the Blessing Hospital in Quincy, southwest Illinois, complaining of respiratory problems on the Labor Day weekend, Reuters reported, citing officials. The virus has not yet been identified but officials say that it seems to be similar to HEV68, another respiratory infection that had broken out in St. Louis and in Kansas City the weekend earlier, Robert Merrick, an epidemiologist at the hospital, told Reuters.
On Wednesday, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System in Hannibal, Missouri, about 30 miles from Quincy, also issued a similar warning to the children in the area for the virus causing fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, mouth blister, body and muscle aches and rash.
The hospital’s statement on its Facebook page said: “Due to the recent outbreaks of enterovirus infections in Missouri and Illinois, Hannibal Regional Hospital health officials ask that children 16 and under and persons with the following symptoms refrain from visiting patients who are hospitalized at Hannibal Regional Hospital until further notice.”
Last week, St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri announced that it saw a 50 percent increase in the number of cases it admitted related to the virus, while Missouri’s Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City recorded 300 children with the virus, Reuters reported.