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Oct 8, 2014 7:30 AM

Enterovirus suspected in Seabrook teen


SEABROOK - A 13 year-old Seabrook boy is being treated at Tufts Medical Center in Boston after he was experiencing leg paralysis last week.

Dan Dugan was brought to the intensive care unit last week after his legs gave out on him multiple times. Dugan was also suffering from headaches, coughing and vomiting. His father told Seacoast Online the doctors should be able to confirm Enterovirus D-68 in the next couple days.

Enteroviruses are common in the US but this particular D-68 strain is more severe. Doctor Elizabeth Talbot, an infectious disease specialist at the Department of Health and Human Services, says Enterovirus D-68, "is a distant cousin to the Polio virus. This is an unusual complication of a virus that is circulating widely mand mostly causing respitory disease."

Talbot says precautions like hand washing is a good way to protect yourself. And, although, paralysis is frightening, Talbot says, it is incredibly uncommon. "I think that this is probably a rare complication of what's turned out to be a widespread viral infection."

She warns however, if you or your child suffers from severe headaches, inability to walk, handle fine motor skills or think clearly it is time to seek medical attention.

Seacoast Online reports that the school Dugan attends, Seabrook Middle School, has sent out information on the virus and if Dugan does test positive for Enterovirus D-68, the school will let parents and students know.

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