7 cases of Enterovirus EV-D68 confirmed in Central Virginia

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The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) confirmed Wednesday afternoon that several Central Virginia children hospitalized last week tested positive for Enterovirus EV-D68, according to WTVR.

Doctors at VCU Medical Center and HCA Virginia reported an increase in patients with symptoms of respiratory illness last week.

At that time, they were not able to confirm the patients had the enterovirus.

Officials with the Virginia Department of Health announced Wednesday afternoon that lab tests confirmed seven of the ten patients tested positive for Enterovirus EV-D68.

The three children who did not test positive for enterovirus were found to have other common respiratory viruses.

The children affected included pre-school and school age children with a median age of six.

The children were all from Central Virginia and were cared for at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond.

The VDH typically does not identify hospitals in situation like this, but said this is a unique set of circumstances, and that they had the hospital’s permission.

The health department is waiting on results from 28 other reported cases from across the state.

The VDH sent samples from 38 patients to the CDC, including the ten specimens from St. Mary’s. They are still waiting to hear back on the results of 28 other patients. There has been no word on when those results might come back, but the VDH reiterated that once the CDC receives a specimen, it could take weeks to test.

Most of the children affected have a history of asthma, and most children who have Enterovirus D68 do not show signs of a fever, so any evidence of breathing problems should lead to medical treatment.

The health department has been working with hospitals across the state as the CDC investigates suspected clusters of the respiratory illness.

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