Enterovirus D68 May Link to Paralysis, Spreads in California
Cases of the sometimes-deadly Enterovirus D68 (EV D68) in California children have begun multiplying following exponential numbers of cases nationwide. Some Enterovirus cases have been connected to paralysis in patients.
The original source of the rising number of EV D68 in the United States is unknown Dr. Gil Chavez, Deputy Director, State Epidemiologist for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) told Breitbart News on Friday.
Enterovirus D68 (EV D68) cases continue to rise, reaching over 500 recorded nationwide and 14 California instances since the beginning of 2014, as of October 3. While cases of EV D68 have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) since 1987, they have only seen small numbers until 2014. CDC and the CDPH report an expectation that they will see even more cases in coming months.
So far a reported four children with EV D68 have died nationwide and many have developed paralysis or weakness in limbs. Polio, a form of Enterovirus according to the CDPH, has been largely eradicated from the U.S. However, the fact that EV D68 is also a form of Enterovirus makes a possible connection to paralysis not surprising, Dr. Carole Glazer told reporters on a CDPH teleconference. EV D68 is classified as a non-Polio Enterovirus and is under investigation for whether the virus is causing the cases of paralysis.
Another strain of Enterovirus EV D71 has also been linked to paralysis. EV D71 has not seen an uptick in 2014 cases as EV D68 has.
Friday afternoon the CDPH held a teleconference on the status of EV D68. On that call was Dr. Carole Glazer who responded to a question regarding the relative small number of cases in California thus far saying that this may be only the beginning of an uptick in cases.
So far 14 cases have been reported in California, one of which has recorded a patient that also displayed paralysis. However, there was another case of Enterovirus that is not counted in the number that have experienced paralysis. 8 year old Will Baker of San Diego did not get tested until after the level of virus in his system was no longer enough to register as to whether young Will had the D68 strain.
California counties and cities with confirmed cases of EV D68 are: Alameda (2), City of Long Beach (1), Los Angeles (1-with paralysis), San Francisco (1), Riverside (1), Santa Cruz (1), Solano (1), Ventura (1), and San Diego (5). Those affected range in age from infant to 15 years of age.
Suggestions for prevention of sickness or spreading of the sickness given by CDPH medical professionals included: wash hands with soap and water, avoid touching eyes, nose mouth with unclean hands, and stay home if you are sick.
Parents are being told to immediately seek medical attention for children having difficulty breathing (wheezing, difficulty speaking or eating, belly pulling in with breaths, blueness around the lips) according to the California Department of Public Health website. Those with existing respiratory illness such as asthma are particularly susceptible to the virus and often experience more severe cases of the illness.