Midwest Enterovirus Affecting Kids Worries Local Doctors

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SACRAMENTO-

Conner Carlson, 7, sat down Tuesday for his annual checkup at the doctor's office.

On the list of questions his mother and grandmother had for the doctor; the Enterovirus D68.

Conner is not sick, but, to be extra cautious, his family insisted on a trip to the doctor, knowing that at this very moment, hospitals in the Midwest are flooded with children infected with D68, a fast-spreading virus that affects the respiratory system.

"What happens with a lot of young parents is they think, 'Oh, it's just a cold.'" Connor's grandmother told FOX40.

Those are the symptoms, at first, but Sacramento Pediatrician Dr. Richard Gould says symptoms worsen - fever, rash, lack of energy.

"They'll be looking increasingly ill, lethargic; that's a sign you need to seek medical care." Gould told FOX40.

D68 is contagious and it spreads easily, doctors say, through general contact like shaking hands with someone.

Currently, there are no reported cases of the virus in Sacramento but Dr. Gould questions if we would have enough resources if California became infected with the virus.

The state health department has medical emergency plans in place. If an outbreak occurred and our hospitals ran out of beds, the plan enables counties to share resources and even transport patients to other counties, if need be.

In the meantime, Connor's mother and grandmother are keeping a close eye on him.

Dr. Gould says the warm fall weather in the Sacramento region might be a good thing, as the virus may have a  harder time spreading in 70-80 degree weather.