Md. confirms severe respiratory illness in state

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland's health department says it has confirmed the presence of an unusual respiratory illness in children in the state.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a news release Wednesday that the enterovirus 68 was identified in a specimen collected from a hospitalized child in suburban Maryland. It was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

The virus can cause mild to severe illness, with the worst cases needing life support for breathing difficulties. Kids with asthma have been especially vulnerable.

The CDC reported last week that there have been 160 lab-confirmed cases in 22 states.

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