Department of Health confirms Enterovirus is present in Virginia’s Eastern region

Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-07 18:22:27-04

The Virginia Department of Health confirmed that as of Friday, October 3rd, Enterovirus D-68 is in the Central, Northern and Eastern regions of Virginia.

Health officials aren’t saying exactly where the cases were seen, citing patient privacy.

When NewsChannel 3 spoke to the Department of Health, they said, “We used to share the city, but you guys are so good at investigating, you would then find out the actual family and the actual school and that’s not a proper situation, it’s an invasion of privacy.”

Dr. Welch says  this strain of Enterovirus D-68 is usually just like a common cold. It’s just this year, the usual cold symptoms are so severe, children can’t breathe and have to go to the hospital.

One 4-year-old in New Jersey even died from the virus just two weeks ago.

“It could be the virus itself has somewhat changed. It could be the presence of it has changed in the community, we don’t know,” Dr. Welch says.

Dr. Welch did say the number of respiratory illnesses in Chesapeake emergency rooms have gone down since the spike in September.

CHKD officials say several children came in with severe symptoms two weeks ago, but that has since died down.

However, there is no vaccine for Enterovirus and that’s why you have to take action to protect you and your child – by washing your hands, not sharing food or drinks, and staying home if you’re sick.