Families concerned over respiratory virus spreading across the U.S.

Families concerned over respiratory virus spreading across the U.S.
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC/CNN) - Families across America are watching the spread of a respiratory virus that's sickened more than 1,000 children nationwide.

The outbreak hasn't hit the Mid-South, but health leaders say it's possible. Many Mid-Southerners are commenting about this on social media, worried this virus could strike here in the Mid-South at any moment.

The Centers for Disease Control is now investigating possible cases of Enterovirus 68 in 12 states, including Missouri.

Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi are not currently on the list, but doctors are watching the situation closely and they say it's up to families to remain vigilant.

Enterovirus 68 can cause mild, cold-like symptoms and typically causes illness lasting about a week.

CDC says most children recover with no lasting problems, but this summer's cases are unusually severe.

If a child has asthma, he or she is especially at risk, according to Dr. Stephen Threlkeld at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.

"It seems like in many of those people have underlying asthma or other respiratory kind of problems, so they are very young, people with known asthma, bad allergies or anyone with any underlying heart or lung problems would be the people we'd be most worried about having these complications," Threlkeld said.

There are no reported cases of the Enterovirus 68 in the Mid-South, WMC Action News 5 will be the first to let you know if and when that changes.

The biggest takeaway for parents -- make sure children are washing their hands thoroughly and frequently.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. CNN contributed to this story. All rights reserved.