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L.A. child treated for partial paralysis had D-68 enterovirus

A child treated for partial paralysis at Children's Hospital Los Angeles has tested positive for enterovirus D-68, health officials announced Wednesday.

The case is the second announced in the last 24 hours in Los Angeles County, which previously had not confirmed any infections with the virus, which has been associated with severe respiratory symptoms in some children and, in rare cases, neurologic symptoms.

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The city of Long Beach reported a case of EV D-68 infection on Tuesday night.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday, the hospital's infectious diseases chief, Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, said that the child, who was between 5 and 10 years of age, arrived at the hospital in August with trouble moving a limb.

The child had cold symptoms for the previous week, Aldrovandi said, which resolved normally. The child has been discharged from the hospital but still has some paralysis, she added.

Aldrovandi reiterated the official recommendation for preventing the spread of EV D-68, which includes frequent hand washing and avoiding people who are sick.

Health officials believe EV D-68 is probably widespread and only causes severe illness rarely, but public health agencies will have to study the virus further to confirm its prevalence in the community and why it sometimes, like other enteroviruses, causes severe illness, said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, interim health officer for L.A. County.

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