Enterovirus Being Investigated After Patients Show Paralysis Like Symptoms
Enterovirus D68 is now being investigated if it was the root cause of why 2 BC patients developed paralysis-like symptoms.
Dr. Sandra Allison, Chief Medical Health Officer with Northern Health, says the province continues to investigate but stresses the severity of illness caused by Enterovirus D68 does vary.
“There’s always a lot of work that has to go into determining the exact cause, but there seems to be an association at this time. I need to remind you though, there are many, many people that will have very mild or be completely asymptomatic with this illness.”
Allison, says Enterovirus 68, like all respiratory viruses, are spread through droplets which can be prevented by aware of how germs are spread.
“We don’t realize how many times you touch your face or your mouth or nose in a day, and then touch door handles, or handrails or surfaces. Also if you’re sick, use respiratory etiquette; you see people coughing into their elbow or using a tissue: make sure you throw that out and don’t leave that around.”
Allison recommends individuals to wash their hands all the time with mild soap and water and to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cases of paralysis in patients with Enterovirus D68 have been reported in Alberta, and Manitoba, and also outside of Canada in recent weeks.
Enterovirus D68 has been confirmed to have been the direct case of the death of a 4-year-old child in the United States.