NEWS

Enterovirus D68 linked to 3rd B.C. death

01/03/2015 02:27 EST | Updated 03/05/2015 05:59 EST
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has confirmed that a child under the age of five is the third death in B.C. from Enterovirus D68.

The child died in November, but the death was only reported last week when the centre received test results, Dr Danuta Skowronski with the BCDC said Saturday.

1st confirmed death linked to the virus in Canada

Skowronski said the two previous deaths associated with the virus involved a man in his 20s with a history of severe asthma, and an elderly patient.

However, she said it's not accurate to say Enterovirus D68 caused the deaths, only that it was present.

"Enterovirus D68 in each of the three deaths was found in association, but we can’t say whether, or in what way, it may have caused or otherwise contributed to the deaths," she said. "All we can say is Enterovirus D68 was detected."

Skowronski said the risk from Enterovirus peaked in the fall. Currently, it is influenza that poses a greater risk to the community.

"Enterovirus in particular, including D68, for whatever reason prefers the late summer and fall, whereas other viruses like influenza and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) prefer the winter period," she said, "and in keeping with that, the risk from Enterovirus has substantially diminished, and has been replaced with influenza and RSV activity, which currently pose the greatest risk to the very old and the very young."

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