CDC Tracks Enterovirus Outbreak in the Midwest

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking an outbreak of enterovirus D-68 in children in the Midwest, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The virus can cause severe respiratory illness in some children, and clinicians and health departments around the country should be aware of and on the lookout for any symptoms of the virus in their area. Children with asthma seem at a higher risk for developing respiratory problems if infected. Currently clusters of severe respiratory illnesses have been seen in children throughout Missouri and Illinois beginning in August.

View the report from The Journal of the American Medical Association

Many Children with ADHD May Be Missing Out on Talk Therapy

A new study found that only 1 out of 4 children taking medication for ADHD also receives talk therapy. The study’s findings highlight concerns that doctors may be simply prescribing medications for behavior problems instead of targeting each child’s specific problems.

“Drug therapy targets the core symptoms of ADHD, but when you talk about other aspects of functioning like educational performance and conduct problems, it appears that talk therapy may improve outcomes for many children,” says lead author Dr. Walid Gellad who is adjunct scientist at the nonprofit research organization RAND Corporation. “In some kids, it is better than drug therapy alone.”

View the full article.

Intervention Can Help Teens with Depression

A collaborative care intervention team of depression care managers can lead to significant improvements in depression symptoms in teenagers according to a study by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

With up to 20% of adolescents experiencing an episode of major depression by age 18, treatment is important to help reduce symptoms in teenagers. 100 teens that screened positive for depression from Washington State primary care practices received collaborative care or usual care for 12 months.

The study found that after 12 months the teenagers who received collaborative care showed significant improvement compared to those who received usual care. The study’s findings are important since JAMA estimates that few teenagers with depressive symptoms receive any evidence-based treatment.

View the online study.

Rare Respiratory Virus Spreads to 22 States

A rare respiratory illness sickening children around the country continues to show up in new places. It has been confirmed in 22 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is an uncommon enterovirus strain — enterovirus 68 — that has not made many appearances since its discovery in 1962. The illness can cause severe breathing problems, which can be particularly dangerous for children with asthma.

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What is Enterovirus 68?

Enterovirus D68 is a non-polio enterovirus identified in 1962 but not commonly seen in the United States.

Symptoms of the virus include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches

More severe symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing

Who is at Risk for Enterovirus?

Infants, children, and teenagers are the most likely to contract enterovirus because they have not yet built an immunity from previous exposures. In many cases the symptoms of the disease are mild, though children with asthma may be at a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

How Can I Reduce My Child’s Risk of Enterovirus?

Since the virus is often spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches an infected surface, there are several ways to reduce your child’s risk of catching enterovirus.

  • Wash hands often throughout the day
  • Avoid touching the face
  • Avoid sharing utensils or drinks with someone who is sick
  • Disinfect surfaces such as toys and doorknobs that the children often come in contact with



Preventive Care for U.S. Kids Often Inadequate

Preventive health care services for children is highly variable and often inadequate according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report, available as a free PDF, included several key findings.

Key findings include:

  • Half of infants with a failed hearing screening didn’t have documented follow-up testing.
  • About 80% of parents with children aged 10 to 47 months weren’t asked to complete formal developmental screening.
  • Two-thirds of 1- to 2-year-olds didn’t have lead testing.

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