A rare respiratory illness that’s been spreading across the country has reached Rhode Island.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, an adult was hospitalized with enterovirus D68 and has since been released.
Susan Hogan has been following this story and joined The Rhode Show to share vital information about the virus.
While only one person has been diagnosed in Rhode Island, and one child in Massachusetts, it is likely that there are other cases of the virus locally.
Mild symptoms of the virus include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and aches. Severe symptoms could include difficulty breathing and wheezing. While it can affect those with asthma more seriously, Rhode Island Department of Health Director Dr. Michael Fine said the virus is not much different than the viruses that produce the common cold.
Enterovirus is spread through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that from mid-August through Monday there have been 175 lab-confirmed cases of enterovirus D68 in 27 states, not including Rhode Island and Massachusetts.