NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A virus hospitalizing children in the U.S. Midwest at an unprecedented rate has now made its way into the Northeast, with cases found in New York and Connecticut.
The virus, identified as EV-D68, comes from a family of diseases called enterovirus. Enteroviruses are fairly common and cause cold-like symptoms typically during the month of September.
EV-D68, though, has puzzled doctors with its severity and higher-than-normal hospitalizations of those who have contracted it.
Hundreds of children across the Midwest suspected of having the rare strain of enterovirus have been hospitalized in recent weeks with severe respiratory problems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed a total of 80 cases across six Midwest states as of Thursday.
Now the virus is sickening children in the Northeast.
More than a dozen cases of EV-D68 were confirmed in New York state, the state's Department of Health said Friday.
Children at two Connecticut hospitals are also suspected to have contracted the virus.
"We can confirm that we are treating children with respiratory illnesses at Connecticut Children's who have exhibited symptoms of Enterovirus D68," said Connecticut Children's Medical Center spokesman Bob Fraleigh, in a statement Friday. "At this point it is important to note they are possible cases, not confirmed cases. We will not know anything further until the CDC has had the opportunity to run their tests and then communicate those results back to us."