Enterovirus D-68 cases on the rise in Alberta

The number of lab-confirmed enterovirus D68 cases across the province continues to rise.

Between July 1 and Oct. 31, a total of 111 cases of enterovirus D68, also known as EV-D68, have been reported in Alberta.

That’s an increase of 18 reported cases from mid-October when 93 cases were reported.

Of the 111 lab-confirmed cases, 60 are in Calgary, 19 are in Edmonton, and 10 are in the province’s south zone.

EV-D68 is a strain of enteroviruses — a common group of viruses that can cause various types of illness including respiratory illness and the common cold.

In early October, lab results confirmed two patients at Alberta Children’s Hospital who were suffering from symptoms of paralysis including weakened limbs or faces had EV-D68.

On Monday, Alberta Health Services said no more patients who have confirmed cases of EV-D68 have reported similar neurological syndrome symptoms.

Patients with D68 can suffer from runny noses and fevers and they can also have trouble breathing, especially if they have asthma or some other respiratory illness.

At this time, officials do not know if the cases of EV-D68 confirmed in Alberta are the same strain as the EV-D68 circulating across the United States.

Albertans are encouraged to wash their hands, cough into their sleeves and stay home when they are sick to protect themselves and those around them from illnesses caused by enteroviruses.

Aklingbeil@calgaryherald.com

Twitter.com/AnnaliseAK

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