While officials in Rhode Island remain baffled as to why more than 100 school-age children have fallen ill since the week of Aug. 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that 98 more children had contracted a highly contagious form of parvovirus, which has been linked to the illnesses.
The latest case of COVID-19, a parvo virus that can affect infants, was reported Monday in Rhode Island, bringing the number of children with the illness to 103 cases in that state alone, according to local health officials.
Parvo is one of the most contagious diseases available to the public, and causes children to feel miserable even when they’re already weak from other illnesses. There’s no cure for it, and the average length of an illness is five days.
According to the CDC, parvo can cause 1,000-10,000 cases in the United States every year. Since the incubation period is six to 10 days, the reason for the recent outbreak is unknown. Local health officials said that there is no clear link between the illnesses in Newport or Prospect, two towns in Rhode Island. Newport has had 53 cases and Prospect has had 21.
More than 30 cases of parvo have been reported in Louisiana, possibly related to the ongoing termite cleanup and fertilizer spraying after Hurricane Harvey, which ravaged the Gulf Coast from South Texas to Mississippi in late August and early September.
At least 10 parvo cases have been reported to federal and state health officials in Louisiana.