WARNING: Scots children hospitalised for polio-like virus

FEARS over a killer bug which causes children respiratory problems and paralyses limbs are sweeping the nation after a rise in cases.

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has so far infected 38 children in the UK this year and parents are advised to watch for the symptoms of the polio-like bug. Children most at risk are aged between 4 and 12.

Enterovirus D68 is a virus that can make you feel like you have a cold. If it’s severe, it could also make you wheeze or have trouble breathing, especially if you have asthma or other respiratory problems.

Most cases are mild and last about a week, but if it’s severe, you may need to go to the hospital.

Babies, children, and teens are the most likely to get it. People with weak immune systems have the biggest risk for severe complications.

This virus isn’t new. Experts first identified it in 1962. In the decades since then, it only seemed to impact a very small number of people. That changed in 2014, when the CDC reported a national outbreak.

There are more than 100 other enteroviruses.


You could have a fever, a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. You might feel achy, too.

The virus can also lead to wheezing and trouble breathing, especially in children who have asthma or other respiratory problems.

It’s very rare, but enteroviruses may cause other serious problems, such as muscle paralysis or inflammation of the brain or heart.


No medicines target this virus. Antibiotics won’t help, since the illness is not caused by bacteria.

You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, which might help you feel a little better, just like with a normal cold.

If your symptoms are severe, you should call your doctor or go to the emergency room.

If it’s an emergency — for instance, you’re having trouble breathing — call 911. You may need to be hospitalized.

Online Editors

Almost all The British Journal staff, including reporters, can be contacted by e-mail. In most cases the e-mail address follows this formula: first initial + last name + @thebritishjournal.com. For example, Laura F. Nixon is [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.