HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — All 11 children taken to St. Mary’s Hospital this week with acute respiratory illness have been cleared to return home, hospital officials told CBS 6 reporters Melissa Hipolit and Laura French. A twelfth patient who arrived at the hospital last night with similar symptoms was treated and released.
The Virginia Department of Health told St. Mary’s doctors that blood tests on the children that would show whether or not they were sick with Enterovirus EV-D68 should be back later this evening or early on Thursday.
On Tuesday, VCU Medical Center confirmed it has seen an increase in the number of young patients with upper respiratory sickness and asthmatic distress as well.
Although enteroviruses are common, doctors have called this an unusual strain. The Centers for Disease Control reported 12 states have asked for help dealing with this virus.
During CBS 6 News on Wednesday, Dr. Eric Freeman of Old Dominion Pediatrics, off Midlothian Turnpike near the Arboretum, answered viewer questions about Enterovirus EV-D68.
Doctors said there are things you can do to help keep your children healthy:
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid hugging or sharing items with people who are sick.
- Parents can start disinfecting toys and doorknobs as added precaution.