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Long Beach Doctor Treats LA County's First Case Of Enterovirus

LONG BEACH ( — A child from Long Beach was diagnosed with enterovirus this week, the respiratory virus that's infected children in more than 40 states, the first confirmed case of the virus in Los Angeles County.

So far, there are seven cases of enterovirus D-68 in California this month, and the Centers for Disease Control is investigating whether it can be blamed for cases of sudden paralysis in Massachusetts and Colorado.

Los Angeles County's first case of enterovirus was treated at the pediatric intensive care unit at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach.

"Yes, the child was critically ill, necessitating intensive care," said David Michalik, a pediatric infectious disease specialist.

Michalik said the child, who was hospitalized for a week and is now fine at home, needed one-on-one care.

"Needed several breathing treatments to keep the airway open, needed frequent examinations and bloodwork to determine that everything was looking OK," he said.

The child's age and gender were not disclosed.

Seventeen samples from patients at the hospital have been sent to the state to test for enterovirus. So far, one sample has tested positive, one is pending, five have come out negative and 10 are waiting.

Symptoms of enterovirus D-68 include rapid breathing, wheezing, runny nose, coughing and fatigue. Children displaying these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.

"The fact that we have a case here in LA county isn't a surprise," Michalik said. "And we expect more cases to come."

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