VANCOUVER — An uncommon respiratory virus that is sweeping across parts of the U.S. has been confirmed in three people in British Columbia.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says the three cases of enterovirus D68 are from different areas of the province, and they are being treated in the Lower Mainland.
The virus, also called EV-D68, has been confirmed in 130 children in 12 U.S. states since mid August, causing severe respiratory illnesses.
Alberta health officials have also confirmed the virus has made 18 children in the province sick, although medical officer of health Dr. James Talbot says more tests need to be done to see if it’s the same strain that is causing the outbreak in the U.S.
The D68 strain causes symptoms similar to the common cold, but children with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma may suffer more serious symptoms if infected.
B.C.’s provincial medical health officer Dr. Perry Kendall says the cases found in the province are not a cause for alarm, and the current school strike has likely stopped the virus from spreading.