Friday, October 24, 2014

Enterovirus D68

So, I'm probably one of the few people in the country more  concerned about  EV-D68 than Ebola.   And I'm probably one of  the few people in the country stalking the CDC website daily for more information about positive identification of this virus.

I'm also probably one of  the more cranky followers of  this virus in North Carolina.

It is of no surprise to anyone why:  the Squirrel. And it actually moves me when my real life friends ask me  about  how she is doing and let me know if they (or  a loved one) feels sick and what the  symptoms are and are not.

I was even in the local  paper, in which I thought the point was  to rant that we're not  getting information from the NC Department of  Health And Human Services about the LOCATION of verified EV-D68 cases and the patronizing tone of the NC epidemiologist that we should just assume  it's EV-D68 is out there and kids are getting it.

Assume?  I  should "assume"??? I'm sorry. I'm a scientist. I don't assume diddly squat.  I want data.  And if the data are that all  NC's EV D68 cases are around Raleigh, why should I assume Mecklenburg County has them, too?

Especially since the DATA from our pediatrician is that all the respiratory illnesses she's seen this year have been very  mild.

Especially since our school nurse says that most of the school absences are from stomach problems.

Especially since I've seen friends on FB--from Los Angeles--who've had to take their children into urgent care for breathing problems. Like  the Mom of that child and the Dad of another (who has been traveling all over  the country)  have ended up  with horrible, HORRIBLE colds with real respiratory and breathing issues.

Especially since EV-D68 lasts till late fall in *New Jersey* because only until then does it get cold enough to kill the virus!!  FYI, Fall Temp NC > Fall Temp NJ.  

It  is clear from the CDC chart that NC does not have a lot of EV-D68 compared to other states.

And the daily increase  of  cases has  drastically  declined.  At one point, there were between 50 and 75 new cases a day. Now there are about 20  new cases.

So here is  my latest thinking on EV-D68 and Charlotte.

1)  We might have escaped  it.  I am not seeing anyone  on my FB  newsfeed whose child has had a really, really bad  cold or who as  an  adult they have had a bad  respiratory  cold.
2)   We might have  already had it!!   EV-D68 has been around for  a while.   Bridget was hospitalized  *last* summer for  a horrible  respiratory  cold  that  took down  the entire family which  a  junky  cough. (I'm thinking of  her  second  hospitalization where we all coughed up  a lung or  two  in the house) No one tested anybody last summer for  EV-D68.   Maybe  Charlotte has already  had  this  bug and the city is  now basically immune.   (I'm hoping for this option)
3)   It  hasn't hit Charlotte yet.   Boooooo. Let's  hope  that one isn't  correct.

I  still don't understand why  the NC DHHS won't tell us where the  verified cases have been. The HOSPITALS are  revealing  that  they've treated  kids with EV-D68. The  reason NC DHHS won't is for HIPAA--they don't want  to reveal patient information. W.T.Fudge.Monkeys?

How many children are in Forsyth County?  If I tell you 1 child tested  positive  for  EV-D68, do  you know  which child  it  was???   NC  DHHS  reports  Lyme  disease  and cancer rates BY COUNTY.   But they can't tell us which county contains an illness  that is spread  through  the air and is  very serious  for  children with asthma?

I do think (hope) we're on the back end of this illness. But I'm not fully convinced.  Also, I  just  don't think this disease is as contagious as  they are saying. They say  the virus can live for days on surfaces. But when only 1 or 2 children in all of New York City get the diagnosis, how contagious can it  actually  be.  (And  yes, my  understanding is that the diagnosis is only made for kids in  intensive care, not for kids who have just been hospitalized.  It's  a very  expensive  test) I don't  know why Colorado and St  Louis had  such bad breakouts, but  I  don't think it's  burning  through the rest of the  country.

At least not through Charlotte.

At  least not through our house.

Famous last words, eh?