Health officials have confirmed the first two cases of enterovirus in L.A. County. The mysterious ailment has been sickening children around the country, but this is the first time it’s been detected in the L.A. area.
The two local cases have revealed the confounding the nature of the virus known as D68. One child who was treated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles developed partial paralysis. Meanwhile, an infant who was hospitalized in Long Beach suffered less serious symptoms and quickly recovered.
So far this year, the D68 strain has seriously sickened at least 500 kids in more than 40 states. Six cases have been confirmed in California. The virus has been found in four people who died, although health officials say it’s not clear what role D68 played in the deaths.
L.A, County Interim Health Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser says parents who notice wheezing or serious breathing problems in their children or signs of muscle weakness or paralysis should take them to a doctor. And people who are sick are urged to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus.
Here’s more information about enterovirus D68 from the Centers for Disease Control.