NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A rare virus being blamed for sending hundreds of children to the hospital in the South and Midwest appears to have spread to the Northeast.

Officials at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford said they’re treating children with symptoms similar to those of enterovirus EV-D68.

Medical center spokesman Bob Fraleigh said no cases of the virus have been confirmed and doctors are awaiting test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York’s Health Department confirmed last week there are more than a dozen children in the state infected with the virus.

Enterovirus 68 is an uncommon strain of a very common family of viruses that typically hit from summer through autumn. It can cause mild cold-like symptoms that last about a week, but it can also lead to serious breathing problems, especially for children with asthma.

“The vast majority of patients that get infected with this virus have relatively mild illness, but children, particularly those with underlying asthma or other respiratory illnesses seem to suffer more from this,” Dr. Michael Parry, director of infectious diseases at Stamford Hospital, told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.

The virus is spread through contact with an infected person or via contaminated surfaces.

There is no vaccination. Prevention involves hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces and any usual steps to prevent the spread of flu.

First identified in California in 1962, EV-D68 has been rare in the U.S. The CDC confirmed cases in six other states as of Friday.

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