A serious and rare respiratory illness has sickened nearly one thousand children in at least ten states.
The suspected virus is called Enterovirus 68.
It’s an uncommon strain of a very common virus which strikes from summertime through fall.
The virus starts off with cold-like symptoms, but can take a turn for the worse causing difficulty breathing and respiratory distress.
Doctor William Meller of the Med Center in Santa Barbara says it’s just a matter of time until it comes to California.
“It’s definitely going to come here. I mean these viruses recognize no boundaries. They travel wherever people travel,” Meller said.
The most vulnerable are children under five and those with asthma.
Meller says if a child with a cold develops breathing problems, they should see a doctor immediately.
Most children are recovering from this virus without lasting problems.
There is no anti-viral therapy or vaccine yet.
Doctors are reminding people about the importance of washing hands and covering your mouth when you cough.