Enterovirus D68: SickKids testing 3 patients, hospital confirms

Three young patients at Toronto’s SickKids are currently being tested for Enterovirus D68 after they experienced the tell-tale sign of muscle weakness following respiratory illnesses, the hospital confirmed Friday.

EV-D68 often causes mild symptoms, but in rare cases is linked to paralysis

Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children has had seven confirmed cases of EV-D68 since late August. A toddler in Michigan stricken with Enterovirus D68 died on Friday. (CBC)

Three young patients at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children are currently being tested for Enterovirus D68 after they experienced muscle weakness following respiratory illnesses, the hospital confirmed Friday.

Meanwhile Ontario's Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins, has told CBC News one child in the province who has tested positive for the enterovirus has paralysis.

The virus commonly causes a variety of mild symptoms, such as coughing, running nose or trouble breathing. Enterovirus D68 is a part of a larger group of viruses that cause similar symptoms, some of which are associated with severe neurological problems, including muscle weakness and meningitis.

Enterovirus D68 has recently been connected to clusters of confirmed outbreaks of respiratory illness among children in California, Colorado, B.C.AlbertaSaskatchewan and Manitoba

This week, McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ont., confirmed they are testing four patients suspected of contracting the virus after they exhibited muscle weakness. Since Aug. 28, there have been 139 confirmed cases in the Hamilton area. Alberta health officials are also currently investigating four cases of paralysis in children that may be linked to EV-D68.

In a statement to CBC News, SickKids declined to reveal when test results are expected, but did offer some advice to parents who might be concerned about the virus.

“If your child is recovering from a respiratory illness but then suddenly develops a new  fever, or difficulty breathing you should seek medical attention,” the statement read.

“The best way to protect yourself and your children against enteroviruses is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.”


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