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NJ mom warns parents to heed CDC warning about virus affecting children

NJ mom warns parents to heed CDC warning about virus affecting children
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A New Jersey mom wants other parents to heed a new CDC warning about a virus affecting children.

It landed her little boy in the hospital and has symptoms that mimic polio.

Kelley O’Neill and her 3-year-old son, Owen, were happy and excited the night before the first day of kindergarten, but hours later her son’s health took a turn for the worse.

“You could tell he was desperate for some relief from the pain he was in,” O’Neill said.

What Kelley thought was a mild cold, with some snorting and coughing, turned into labored breathing at a respiratory rate of 40 breaths per minute. “When he turned 40, I said we had to go to the emergency room.”

Kelley says her son was hospitalized and given oxygen. He tested positive for both rhinovirus and enterovirus. On Friday, the CDC warned of increased hospitalizations among children infected with these two viruses. In some cases, they can cause polio-like muscle weakness.

“Difficulty swallowing, drooping face, something like that with muscle weakness, you need to get medical help right away,” Dr. Mike Cirigliano.

dr. Mike says late summer and early fall is the season for these viruses. “What we’re seeing now is an increase in numbers in a number of communities in the United States.”

Kelley says her son was thankfully released from the hospital a few days later. “It was horrible. Really, really scary.”

Kelley warned other parents on social media, prompting a friend to take her son to the ER. Angela Sielski noted that her son remains in the pediatric ICU with similar viruses, but his condition is improving dramatically.

“Their immune systems aren’t as strong as they used to be. These kids were locked up for two years and their immune systems aren’t great,” Kelley said. “I don’t want to scare people, but I do think that parents should keep an eye on their children.”

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