BC man’s death marks first enterovirus-linked fatality in Canada

A young BC man dies after contracting Enterovirus D68, marking the first Canadian fatality from the illness, BCCDC confirms.  

Photo by Alex Proimos via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/bt29wL
Photo by Alex Proimos via Flickr

The death of a Metro Vancouver man in his twenties marks the first known enterovirus D68 infection linked fatality in Canada. The death was confirmed in a conference call on Friday morning. The victim had a history of severe asthma.

"It's not known to what extent D68 may have caused or contributed to this death," B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s Dr. Danuta Skowronksi told news sources.

The victim did not have paralysis or neurological symptoms that occurs in some cases.

“It’s possible that Enterovirus D68 has contributed to or been associated to deaths previously but those were not recognized,” she said.

Children with asthma, appear to be hit the hardest by the virus. Adults (especially men, who along with younger boys make up two-thirds of the virus victims) should not be considered exempt from it, particularly if they have underlying health conditions.

Thirty-six cases of Enterovirus D68 have been confirmed in the province, double the number from last week, the BCCDC confirmed. 

There is no specific vaccine or treatment for the infection, said Skowronski, washing hands thoroughly and sneezing or coughing into your elbow are good prevention methods.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control says seven people have died from the same infection this year.


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