Enterovirus confirmed in Manitoba

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Simple precautions can keep enterovirus away

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Chief Provincial Public Health Officer advises that three individuals have tested positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in Manitoba.

EV-D68 is a type of virus that causes a range of illness. EV-D68 is one of several circulating viruses most commonly found in the summer and fall.

The confirmation of cases in Manitoba is not unexpected, as cases have been laboratory-confirmed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Most of the time, healthy children are only mildly affected or may have no symptoms at all.

Respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or a runny nose are the most common with EV-D68. It can also affect the lower respiratory tract, causing wheezing and shortness of breath. Recently, several clusters of severe respiratory illness in hospitalized children due to EV-D68 infection have been found in the United States and Canada.

Certain children are at higher risk for more serious symptoms, such as those with asthma or other lung disorders. Children with a weaker immune system, such as those on medications that reduce the immune response like chemotherapy or steroids, may be more seriously affected. Younger children, due to limited exposure to the virus, may also be more at risk.

This is not the first time that EV-D68 has been confirmed in Manitoba. In 2009, approximately 20 individuals, mostly children, were infected with this virus.

To reduce the risk of an EV-D68 infection, Manitobans should regularly wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, and use proper cough etiquette, such as coughing into the elbow.

If a child has a high fever, difficulty breathing, is not drinking well or not urinating, parents can contact their health-care provider, call Health Links-Info Sante in Winnipeg at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free), go to a walk-in clinic, a QuickCare Clinic or the nearest emergency department.

Source: Province of Manitoba

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