The dangers associated with Enterovirus - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

The dangers associated with Enterovirus

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Viruses are common in the fall and winter months, but this year, Enterovirus D68 has been sending more children than usual to the hospital.

At least five cases of the respiratory illness have been treated here in San Diego, and just Wednesday, health officials in Rhode Island confirmed a 10-year-old boy who died tested positive for the virus.

Is the partial paralysis affecting the legs of a three-year-old boy in Ventura County linked to Enterovirus D68, the respiratory illness that's sending hundreds of children to the ER? That's the question health officials across the country are trying to answer.

"Enterovirus as a family can rarely cause paralysis. Polio is in the family of Enteroviruses," Dr. Mark Sawyer at Rady Children's Hospital said.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control has received reports of paralysis in at least 10 children that could be connected to Enterovirus D68.

"Since we know that Enterovirus can cause paralysis, it's certainly possible, it's another virus or Enterovirus 68, but that link hasn't been made yet. So at the moment, these are two separate stories happening at the same time," Sawyer said.

The CDC says Enterovirus D68 has been confirmed in more than 470 patients in the country, including a 13-year-old boy in Colorado. It was reported that he was white as a ghost with blue lips and was even completely unconscious at one point.

With treatment to help him breathe and hospital care this boy recovered, but in Rhode Island it has been confirmed that a 10-year-old who died from a staph infection, also tested positive Enterovirus D68. However, doctors say the combination of a staph infection and Enterovirus is very rare.

Health workers advise people to take precautions, including washing your hands regularly, disinfecting door knobs, toys, phones and computers.

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