The Mass. Dept. of Public Health Confirms a Enterovirus D68 Case
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced Tuesday that the first confirmed case of Enterovirus D68 is now in the Commonwealth. In the statement, the agency said that the patient was treated at an “area hospital.” Boston Children’s Hospital sent out their own statement about five minutes later confirming that the patient with the much-publicized respiratory virus was, in fact, treated there.
The patient, which the DPH says is a school-aged child, has a history with asthma and became sick in September. The patient has since been treated and released.
“With enterovirus D68 now widespread across the country, this news comes as no surprise,” said DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, RN, in a statement. “We have been working closely with pediatric providers and area hospitals to ensure the proper testing was done to identify the virus. For most children, this virus is relatively mild – but for children with asthma or other respiratory illnesses, it can be serious. Parents should contact their pediatrician if their child is experiencing respiratory issues.”
Boston Children’s Hospital reps say that in the last 11 days, the hospital has taken the following steps:
- Sent 14 samples to Massachusetts Department of Public Health to be tested
- 11 results have come back
- 10 are positive for rhinovirus/enterovirus requiring further testing by the CDC to look for the D68 strain
- 1 came back negative
- 1 of the 10 positive state samples sent to the CDC for further typing returned positive for Enterovirus D68
Boston Children’s reps say that they are still waiting to hear back on the remaining nine samples from the CDC.
The patient who tested positive for Enterovirus D68 has since been discharged. According to the CDC, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for the virus. The CDC recommends frequent and thorough hand washing as a preventative measure.