The Rhode Island Department of Health has confirmed that a Rhode Island child died last week as a result of Staphylococcus aureus sepsis associated with enteroviral infection (EV-D68). Infection by both Staphylococcus aureus sepsis and EV-D68 is a very rare combination that can cause very severe illness in children and adults.

Image/ National Atlas of the United States
Image/ National Atlas of the United States

Yesterday, the CDC reported EV-D68 had been detected in specimens from four patients who died and had samples submitted for testing. The role that EV-D68 infection played in these deaths is unclear at this time; and investigations are ongoing.

“We are all heartbroken to hear about the death of one of Rhode Island’s children,” says Michael Fine, M.D., Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. “Many of us will have EV-D68. Most of us will have very mild symptoms and all but very few will recover quickly and completely. The vast majority of children exposed to EV-D68 recover completely.”

From mid-August to October 1, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 500 people from 42 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 42 states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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