The respiratory virus EV-D68 began gaining attention in August when there were a few hundred cases reported. Today, 40 states are dealing with the illness.

The virus, also known as Enterovirus 68, causes wheezing and breathing problems. The symptoms are amplified in children with asthma. In worst case scenarios, muscle weakness or paralysis can set in, as is the case with 9 children in Colorado.

EV-D68 seems to be spreading in the midwest at a faster rate than other states. The first notification to the CDC came from Kansas City, Mo., where 19 cases were confirmed in mid-August. Days later, 11 more cases were reported in the Chicago area.

Currently, there is no vaccine and no anti-viral to treat the illness.

Health officials are strongly advising washing hands thoroughly. Parents, remind your school children of the importance of hand washing every chance they get and keeping hands away from face.

See map of affected states.

Source: USA Today and Associated Press