7 Richmond area kids test positive for enterovirus

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Officials with the Va. Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that seven of ten children admitted to St. Mary's Hospital with severe respiratory symptoms have tested positive for enterovirus D68.

On September 8, 10 children were admitted to St. Mary's with symptoms indicative of a severe respiratory illness, and samples from seven of those patients confirmed the presence in Virginia of the rapidly spreading virus.

Officials said the results released today are limited to the seven local patients who tested positive. State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine said the state lab has so far received 38 samples from 38 patients across the state in six different regions, but results of testing on the other samples from outside the Richmond region were not discussed during Wednesday's teleconference.

Patient confidentiality clauses prevent releasing much information about the infected children. Levine said St. Mary's Hospital agreed to let the health department disclose the hospital where infected patients were treated. That information is not normally released, but officials made an exception in this case.

Levine said all the infected patients were "preschool to young school-aged." The median age of the patients is 6, Levine said.

Citing patient confidentiality, officials also could not confirm the relationship between the seven local patients, if they knew each other or attended the same schools.

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