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Child at SickKids tests positive for enterovirus D68

File photo of the SickKids hospital atrium. Wikipedia Commons

Officials at the Hospital for Sick Children confirmed Wednesday that a child has tested positive for enterovirus D68, the strain that caused polio-like symptoms in patients in Hamilton and British Columbia.

Six children at the hospital were being tested for the disease.

A second child tested negative for EV D68, but positive for rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.

Two other children tested negative for enterovirus.

Hospital officials say they are awaiting test results on the final two.

The hospital said the children had muscle weakness, followed by respiratory illness.

Overall, SickKids has had seven confirmed cases of enterovirus D68.

At McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, four children recently showed neurological symptoms, including muscle weakness, and so far one has tested positive for EV-D68.

The Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program has identified 139 cases of EV-D68 in the Hamilton area over the past five weeks and says it is starting to see fewer cases.

There have been dozens of confirmed cases of EV-D68 in western and central Canada, which usually causes only mild cold-like symptoms such as fever and runny nose.

A small number of infected children have developed polio-like symptoms, including one in Hamilton and two in B.C.

In mid-August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started to see clusters of children with severe respiratory illness in Missouri and Illinois and said as of Thursday, 514 people in 43 states and the District of Columbia had tested positive for EV-D68.

Four American children who had the virus have died, but it’s not clear if other illnesses were the cause.

Children and teens may have a higher risk of infection because it’s their first exposure to the virus.

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With files from The Canadian press