As the news of the first Ebola case contracted within the country rivets the nation, Enterovirus-D68 continues infecting our children.

Now it has claimed the life of a Michigan toddler:

A Michigan toddler has died of enterovirus D68, another reminder of the deadly potential of a disease that has infected hundreds nationwide in two months.

Madeline Reid died at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where she had been transferred “for advanced services,” according to the Detroit hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Rudolph Valentini.

“The CDC confirmed EV-D68 after her arrival here, and she subsequently succumbed to her illness,” Valentini said.

News 8 Wood TV files this video report on Madeline’s death.

A little closer to my home, there has been a jump in the number of cases recorded.

California health officials Friday said they’ve now identified 32 cases of enterovirus D-68 statewide, a number that’s jumped quickly in recent days.

In Southern California, four cases were in L.A. County, three in Orange County and one in Ventura County, according to the California Department of Public Health. All 32 patients were identified as children ranging in age from a week old to 15 years old.

At least one of the California cases is being treated for the paralysis that is now a potential outcome of the infection:

According to the Los Angeles Times, one child is currently being treated for partial paralysis caused by EV-D68 at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, while Mail Online reported that a 5-year old Hamilton, Alabama girl with the illness is currently paralyzed from her arms to her legs and is being treated at Children’s of Alabama, where she remains on a ventilator.

Canadian health officials are also reporting spikes in Enterovirus-D68 cases:

“It is a virus that’s been circulating more than it ever has before,” said Dr. Jeff Pernica, infectious diseases specialist at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ont.

“It may be slightly more severe than other respiratory viruses.”

Scientists are taking to the lab to figure out how the virus’ latest strain is different from previous strains, and why it is causing respiratory problems in children.

Physicians say they don’t know if the old virus has changed for the worse, or if children today are susceptible to its effects. They also don’t know whether EV-D68 is linked to a mysterious spike in paralysis cases in children.

“I really do think it is a marked increase incidence over what we expect to have happen,” Dr. Joan Robinson, an Alberta-based pediatric infectious disease expert, told CTV News.

What has the Obama Administration’s response to this outbreak been? So far, promoting hand-washing. However, it will be interesting to see if someone starts blaming the National Rifle Association for this disease…as is being done for Ebola:

Why is the NRA to blame? Because they successfully opposed President Obama’s surgeon general nominee–Dr. Vivek Murthy–in March 2013. Murthy wanted to treat gun violence as a public health issue instead of a criminal matter, thereby opening the back door for gun edicts that usurped the Second Amendment via administrative law.

When in doubt, blame conservatives. It’s the hallmark of progressive strategy.

[Featured Image – CNN Video]