September 2014 – RHODE ISLAND – A child infected with enterovirus 68 has died, the Rhode Island Department of Health said today, marking the first publicly announced enterovirus 68 death since the outbreak began this summer. After the Rhode Island announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that three patients who died later tested positive for the virus that’s infecting children across the country. It is not clear what role the virus played in these deaths, but the CDC said state and local health officials are investigating. The 10-year-old girl from Cumberland, Rhode Island, died last week of a rare combination of bacterial and viral infections, the department said, explaining that she died of Staphylococcus aureus sepsis “associated with” enterovirus 68. “We are all heartbroken to hear about the death of one of Rhode Island’s children,” state Health Department Director Dr. Michael Fine said in a statement. “Many of us will have EV-D68 [enterovirus 68]. Most of us will have very mild symptoms and all but very few will recover quickly and completely.” Enterovirus 68, which is suspected of sickening children in 46 states, starts out like the common cold but can quickly turn serious and send children to the hospital with breathing problems.
And on Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it was investigating whether the virus led to temporary limb paralysis in nine children in Colorado. It is related to the polio virus. The girl’s illness began with cold-like symptoms and shortness of breath, Fine said during a press conference today. Her parents called 911 last week, but after she arrived at the hospital her condition “deteriorated very quickly. Things became dire,” Fine said. She died of Staphylococcus aureus sepsis, which he said was “associated with” her enterovirus 68 infection. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria that lives in about 30 percent of people’s noses and usually doesn’t cause any problems, according to the CDC. It can be serious or fatal when it results in sepsis, which is body-wide inflammation that results from an infection, according to the CDC. Sepsis can cause blood flow problems, which leads to organ failure. –ABC News
Four deaths linked to EV-D68 virus: Samples collected from four patients who recently died have tested positive for enterovirus D68, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is unclear what role the virus played in their deaths. Enteroviruses are very common, especially in the late summer and early fall. The CDC estimates 10 to 15 million infections occur in the United States each year. So even though the samples from these four patients tested positive, the virus could have nothing to do with their deaths. One of the patients, a child with a staph infection and enterovirus D68, was from Rhode Island, the state’s health department announced Wednesday. The child died last week. Infection by both staph bacteria and an enterovirus is a “rare combination,” health officials say, that can cause very severe illnesses in children and adults. “Only a very small portion of people who contract EV-D68 will experience problems beyond a runny nose and a low grade fever,” the Rhode Island Department of Health said in a statement. “Most viruses produce mild illnesses from which people are able to recover.”
This year, enterovirus D68 has been sending more children than usual to the hospital with severe respiratory illnesses. It seems to be most affecting children with a history of asthma or breathing problems. As of Wednesday, the CDC had confirmed 472 cases in 41 states. The virus may also be linked to a small number of cases of a mysterious neurologic illness seen in Colorado, Boston and Michigan. Doctors in Colorado spotted it first — a group of 10 children hospitalized with limb weakness, cranial nerve dysfunction and abnormalities in their spinal gray matter. Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital have since identified four patients with the same symptoms. And a child in Washtenaw County, Michigan, also developed partial paralysis in the lower limbs after being hospitalized with the virus, the Michigan Department of Community Health said Wednesday. –CNN
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