Jayden Broadway, Enterovirus patient at Children's Hospital Colorado. (From pool video)
DENVER - Eighty-four cases of Enterovirus 68 have now been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in six states, including Colorado.
At least twelve states have submitted samples for testing. So far, results have confirmed the virus in 84 samples from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri, the CDC told ABC News.
Children's Hospital Colorado reported seeing 199 emergency department patients with respiratory symptoms on September 8 alone. Seventeen of those children were hospitalized.
That hospital said on Monday that about three-quarters of the 25 samples it sent to the CDC did test positive for Enterovirus 68.
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children has also reported seeing a significant increase in the number of children with similar respiratory symptoms.
"Our physicians are seeing approximately seven times the normal number of respiratory virus cases than is normal for this time of year," spokeswoman Angie Anania said Wednesday.
While Enterovirus is common in general, with 10-15 million occurrences each year, the CDC says this strain is much less common and is rarely reported in the United States.
The illness is related to rhinovirus, which is a cause of the common cold. Patients often complain of a rapid onset of cold-like symptoms and then suddenly are unable to breathe.
Children with a predisposition for wheezing, asthma or other breathing problems are particularly at risk for severe symptoms associated with this virus.