Enterovirus Hits Central Illinois

Decatur- A respiratory virus is sweeping across the Midwest.

One mother in Decatur said her son is just now getting over Enterovirus.

Keydra Jackson said she noticed her son Tylan Jackson was sick when he came home from a family reunion and couldn't breath. She rushed the 13-year-old to St. Mary's Hospital in Decatur, Illinois. 

"I was really tired. I couldn't walk a while. Like if I was to walk down the hallway I would be sleepy," Tylan said. "It hurt when I coughed a lot. . . It was just hard to breath too."

When the nurse practitioner saw Tylan his mother said, "at first when they were listening to him he was so closed off that they couldn't even hear him wheezing."

Keydra is a nurse. She and other physicians didn't know what her son had.

"The doctors didn't really know what it was. They just called it Influenza B. They kept asking me does he have asthma and i'm like no," Keydra added.

"For most people they aren't going to even know that they have it and it's a self limiting disease. There is no vaccine. There is no treatment other than symptomatic treatment," said Lynn Berner a Infection Preventionist at St. Mary's Hospital.

Berner said, it's an outbreak of kids between the ages of 6 weeks and 16 years old in Illinois with Enterovirus. She added, it's a respiratory virus that hits hard in the summer and fall months.

Jackson believes that's what her son is still trying to shake off after having it for more than a week.

"I want parents to know it is nothing to play with. You do not want to see your child like that and take that risk. It's a dangerous virus," Keydra said.

"I thought I just had a regular cold because it was just sneezing and coughing, but then I really got worried when it got hard to breath and that's when I started freaking out," Tylan said.

Tylan has missed seven days of school and he will finally go back on Tuesday, if he feels up to it. 

"I can talk and I can run around, well not all the way, but it's getting better," Tylan said.

The infection preventionist said, you can protect yourself by washing your hands, avoid touching your eyes and  disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Parents who believe their child may have the virus, manage the symptoms and if the shortness of breath increases take your child to the emergency room.

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