100 Ontario children infected with vicious EV-D68...
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Sep 25, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

100 Ontario children infected with vicious EV-D68 virus

More than 100 Ontario kids have been infected with the rare EV-D68 virus — but health officials say the outbreak is likely over


An outbreak of EV-D68 in the Hamilton region has pushed the number of Ontario children infected with the respiratory virus to over 100.

Test results show Enterovirus D68, which has sickened thousands of kids in the United States, has infected 96 people in Hamilton over the past four weeks.

The McMaster Children’s Hospital announced the new laboratory test results on Wednesday.

“While a few patients required hospitalization, almost all are recovering at home,” the hospital’s spokeswoman Heather Pullen said.

The rare virus has also been confirmed in Ottawa, Windsor and Toronto — bringing the total number of Ontarians infected with EV-D68 to 102.

Hundreds of other kids across the province have been hospitalized with respiratory problems, some so severe they were treated in intensive care, but test results are yet to confirm the EV-D68 strain.

Dr Marek Smieja, head of virology at the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program, said the EV-D68 outbreak had likely run its course.

“What’s encouraging is that we are seeing a decrease over the past couple of days in the number of samples we’re receiving,” Smieja said. “We know from experience, and the science behind how viruses spread, that EV-D68 has now peaked and is declining compared to other types of viruses.”

However, the laboratory would continue to monitor the prevalence of EV-D68 in Hamilton, Smieja said.

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has reported four confirmed cases of the virus. The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Windsor Regional Hospital have both had one confirmed case, but said they were waiting to receive the test results for other patients suspected of having the infection.

Since Sept. 11, Windsor Regional Hospital has treated about 100 children with respiratory virus symptoms, spokesman Ron Foster said.

Eight children were currently still in the hospital, he said.

The EV-D68 virus is part of the family of enteroviruses and is related to the common cold.

In the vast majority of cases, EV-D68 causes only mild symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sneezing and coughing.

Children with a history of asthma or breathing problems are particularly vulnerable to the infection and can be severely impacted.

Health professionals have warned parents to watch their children closely and bring them to hospital if they notice any significant breathing troubles.

Toronto Star

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