DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — A 21-month-old girl is the first person in Michigan to die from the virus that has caused severe respiratory illness across the country, state health officials said Saturday.
Madeline Reid died Friday afternoon from enterovirus D68, according to Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Its chief medical officer, Dr. Rudolph Valentini, said in a statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the illness after the Clinton Township girl’s arrival, but did not specify which day she arrived.
“It is never easy to lose a child, and our entire health care team at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan is deeply saddened by this family’s loss and mourns with them during this very difficult time,” Valentini said.
The death is the first reported in Michigan caused by the virus which has been spreading throughout the Midwest and lately to other portions of the country. A GoFundMe page set up for Reid, says the virus caused most of her organs to fail and caused congestive heart failure.
Jennifer Smith, Public Information Officer with the Michigan Department of Community Health, said 31 cases in Michigan have tested positive for enterovirus, which starts with flu-like symptoms.
“Parents should be aware of the symptoms, as well as practicing everyday precautions such as good hygiene, washing your hands on a regular basis, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, as well as even sanitizing lotion if soap isn’t around,” Smith said.
The virus can be spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with contaminated surfaces. There is no vaccine or specific treatment.
“EV D68 infections really can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, or no symptoms at all,” Smith said. “Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches as well. Severe symptoms may include wheezing or difficulty breathing.”
Smith said that as of Oct. 7, 31 of 42 subjects tested positive for the illness in reported cases.
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