Three people in Manitoba have tested positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).
Manitoba health officials said on Thursday the confirmation of cases in the province isn’t unexpected, as others have been laboratory-confirmed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
EV-D68 is a type of virus that causes a range of illness. It is one of several circulating viruses most commonly found in the summer and fall.
Most of the time, healthy children are only mildly affected or may have no symptoms at all.
The most common symptoms include fever, cough or a runny nose. It can also affect the lower respiratory tract, causing wheezing and shortness of breath.
Certain children are at higher risk for more serious symptoms, such as those with asthma or other lung disorders. Children with a weaker immune system, such as those on medications that reduce the immune response like chemotherapy or steroids, may be more seriously affected. Younger children, due to limited exposure to the virus, may also be more at risk.
To reduce the risk of an EV-D68 infection, Manitobans should regularly wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, and use proper cough etiquette, such as coughing into the elbow, the province says.
If a child has a high fever, difficulty breathing, is not drinking well or not urinating, parents can contact their health-care provider, call Health Links-Info Sante in Winnipeg at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free), go to a walk-in clinic, a QuickCare Clinic or the nearest emergency department.