A Michigan toddler died Friday of enterovirus-68, the virus that has swept across 45 states and forced hundreds of children to be hospitalized, the Detroit Free Press reports. Madeline Reid was 21 months old when she died in her father's arms. "We are just so incomplete at this time," her mother wrote in an email to MyFox Detroit. "Please keep us in your prayers." Initially struck with a runny nose that got worse, Madeline was hospitalized Sept. 14, had two strokes, suffered partial paralysis, lost function in most major organs, and was placed in a coma for a heart transplant but remained too ill to receive it.
Doctors have refused to pin earlier deaths entirely on enterovirus-68, but this time say the virus is to blame. The best way to beat the virus, however, may be to wait it out: "My sense is that this one is going to be over with fairly quickly," a virologist tells the Star-Ledger. A pediatrician notes that as temperatures dip, such viruses are "inactivating." Meanwhile, researchers have invented a new tracking system to help preschools and child care centers track future outbreaks, HCP Live reports. With this "biosurveillance system," a child care center might report a new flu outbreak, prompting other centers to clean throroughly and kill off viruses.