Breaking News
More () »

What is enterovirus and its symptoms? Mom Squad with 3News' Maureen Kyle

It's sick season! Coughs and colds are going around. The CDC is also warning that enterovirus is on the rise. A local doctor tells us what symptoms to watch for.

CLEVELAND — It's the time of year when a little bit of a sore throat leads to a cold or a cough that can linger.

There are a lot of viruses going around, but there's one in particular called enterovirus that's gaining some attention. The CDC says it's on the rise right now, and it can lead to serious conditions in children -- like paralysis.

Obviously, this makes parents panic, so in today's Mom Squad we asked infectious disease specialist Dr. Amy Edwards with University Hospitals: Should we be concerned? What are the symptoms?

“Enterovirus isn't really different than any other virus except that, as it you can hear it in the name for those who know Latin, ‘entero-virus’ that's ‘enteric’ in the gut,” says Edwards.

“It's a virus that primarily affects the GI tract, so nausea, vomiting, diarrhea can be featured," Edwards explains. "But where enterovirus differs from and what you would call it the stomach flu is enteroviruses do have the ability to also cause respiratory symptoms. So, while your primary symptoms might be GI-related you may also have the sniffles or a little bit of congestion or cough or something like that."

But there’s also a cough going around where some adults -- but mostly kids -- are getting sick for weeks on end. We asked Dr. Edwards which virus is causing these symptoms.

“That's RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and it's not supposed to be in circulation right now," Edwards says. "So, RSV is an early winter virus. Usually we start seeing cases mid to late October and then it runs through and then it just overlaps a bit with the beginning of flu season. So, if we start to see an uptick in influenza towards the end of December and into January and that's when RSV starts to go down."

But that’s if RSV is in its typical cycle. Dr. Edwards says RSV remained prevalent throughout the summer, which is not typical.

For more information about what viruses are circulating and how to keep your family healthy, tune into Mom Squad on our WKYC YouTube channel or on our WKYC streaming platforms.


Before You Leave, Check This Out