MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health says they have a identified a case of enterovirus 68 in a child who was hospitalized with acute respiratory symptoms.
The MDH said Wednesday that the child was released from a Twin Cities hospital and is now recovering at home. They confirmed the respiratory illness Tuesday night.
The virus is the same strain that has been linked to a recent increase in severe respiratory illnesses in children across several states, and in Canada.
The MDH states that often, though not always, the children with these illnesses have a history of asthma.
The MDH has also found other types of enteroviruses over the past few weeks, but the confirmation of enterovirus 68 shows the severe illness could be circulating in Minnesota and may be responsible for the sharp increase.
The symptoms of enteroviruses, including enterovirus 68, can include respiratory issues, fever, rash, gastrointestinal symptoms, neurological symptoms, heart symptoms and conjunctivitis.
Enterovirus 68 can be spread by close contact with an infected person and through objects or surfaces that have the virus on them.
At least a dozen other states have confirmed cases of enterovirus 68, many in the Midwest. No deaths have been reported.
Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they have having difficulty breathing or if their symptoms are getting worse.