First case of enterovirus confirmed in RI

By: Samantha Lavien
Slavien@abc6.com
Twitter: @samanthalavien

The first reported case of the enterovirus D68 infection has been confirmed in a Rhode Island adult.

The Rhode Island Department of Health received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the adult, who was recently hospitalized and has since improved and been discharged, had the infection.

The case was part of a batch of specimens sent to the CDC on September 15.

“This is a virus not terribly different from the viruses that produce common cold causing a little more illness in a bunch of people than most seasonable viruses do,” said Dr. Michael Fine the Director of the Dept. of Health.

There have been no deaths in the country associated with the enterovirus.

State health officials in Massachusetts confirmed Tuesday that the infection was found in an 8-year-old southeastern Massachusetts girl.

She was hospitalized and has since recovered

The enterovirus can cause mild to severe illness, with the worst cases needing life support for breathing difficulties .Despite

the anxiety many people have about this virus, Dr. Fine says there is no need for alarm and parents should take the normal precautions to keep their kids safe.

“It’s important that their kids wash their hands regularly, it’s important that they get a good night sleep, it’s important that they eat regularly, it’s important that they exercise regularly,” said Dr. Fine.

© WLNE-TV 2014