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Sep 26, 2014 9:27 PM

First cases of dangerous enterovirus reported in NH


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY - Late Friday state health officials confirmed the first two cases of the dangerous enterovirus D68 here in New Hampshire.

The two cases involve children, and both are coming from Hillsborough County. Both kids were briefly hospitalized but have since been discharged. Their ages have not been released.

Samples sent to New York state health labs came back positive Friday. Health officials in New Hampshire have been sending tests to the lab, as this fast moving virus sweeps the country.

Children between six months and 16 years old are particularly vulnerable. Adults can get it, but that's not as common since the adult immune system is more equipped to fight it.

Dr. Kevin Petit of Elliot Hospital in Manchester said, "Although this is a specific type of the enterovirus, the immunity we have gained probably is effective against many species of enterovirus."

Symptoms of EV-D68 are difficulty breathing, wheezing and fever. There's no cure, but there are ways to protect yourself from getting it.

Dr. Petit said, "Hand washing is very, very important, and it needs to be soap and water hand washing. Hand sanitizers don't seem to be effective against this virus."

Also, avoid contact with those who are sick, and stay home if you are feeling ill.

According to the CDC, 41 states and the District of Columbia are now confirming cases, and 279 people are confirmed infected. Earlier Friday New Hampshire was not listed on the CDC map of infected states, but word of the two kids from Hillsborough County came down late.

The enterovirus has made its way through the Northeast, except neighboring Maine and Vermont. Also as of Friday, there were still no cases reported in Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii.


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