CDC: Pediatricians be on lookout for rare, serious respiratory infection affecting children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning doctors to be on the lookout for...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning doctors to be on the lookout for respiratory infections in children that can lead to paralysis.(halfpoint via canva)
Published: Sep. 10, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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(CNN/WCCO) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking pediatricians to be on the lookout for a rare but serious respiratory infection in children.

It’s not the flu or COVID-19; it’s called Enterovirus D68, which can lead to a condition that causes paralysis.

The infection, which tends to emerge in late summer and early fall, can lead to acute flaccid myelitis or AFM.

AFM causes weakness in the arms and legs; in some cases, it can even lead to paralysis.

Health officials said the average age of children affected is three, and kids with asthma may be at higher risk.

Enterovirus D68 can be tricky to diagnose because its symptoms mirror those of the common cold, like runny nose, cough and fever.

Parents should contact their child’s doctor if they notice their child is having difficulty breathing or if their symptoms worsen.