Hospital Watching For Enterovirus

A virus sweeping across the American Midwest is on Bluewater Health’s radar.

Enterovirus D68 causes symptoms similar to those of the common cold, but children with underlying respiratory conditions like asthma may suffer more severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing.

Infection Control Manager Helen Shaw says local physicians and emergency room staff are aware of it.

There is no specific medication to treat the virus.

Confirming the virus can take as many as ten days because blood samples have to be sent to Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory, the only lab in Canada that can detect it.

The virus has affected at least 130 children in 12 U.S. states since mid-August and has recently spread into Canada, causing a number of cases in Ontario, Alberta and BC.