Rare virus EV-D68 spreads across Ontario
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Sep 23, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Rare virus EV-D68 spreads across Ontario

The rare and vicious respiratory virus targeting children has been now confirmed in Ottawa, Windsor and Toronto


A vicious respiratory virus that is so severe it sends children to hospital is now spreading across Ontario, with confirmed cases in Windsor, Hamilton, Ottawa and Toronto.

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been sweeping across the United States since August, infecting hundreds of children and sending the most extreme cases to intensive-care units.

The rare virus recently hit Canada and has so far been confirmed in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Last week, 14 confirmed cases were reported in the Hamilton region and four at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa. This week, two cases have been confirmed — one in Windsor and one in Toronto.

The Hospital for Sick Children said the patient treated in Toronto has since recovered and been discharged, spokeswoman Matet Nebres said.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation very closely.”

If a child showed signs of severe distress with laboured and fast breathing, parents should take them to the closest emergency department, Nebres said.

Windsor Regional Hospital also reported it had one confirmed case of the virus and said the infected child had recovered and was discharged a few days ago.

“We still are seeing an increased number of pediatric patients coming to ED and having to be admitted,” Windsor Regional Hospital chief executive David Musyj wrote in a letter to staff.

Visiting restrictions blocking children from visiting pediatric patients remained in place at the hospital to try to curb the spread of the virus, Musyj wrote.

The EV-D68 virus is related to the common cold. It can be transmitted, like all other respiratory viruses, through touching contaminated surfaces or coughing and sneezing near others.

Mild symptoms can include runny nose, fever, coughing and body and muscle aches.

Children with a history of asthma and breathing problems are the most vulnerable to the virus.

Toronto Star

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