A 21-month-old girl who tested positive for enterovirus D-68 in Michigan died after a month-long battle with the respiratory illness, marking the second time a child has succumbed to the virus in the U.S. this week, health officials said.
Madeline Reid died at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit on Friday afternoon, according to Elise Bennett, a spokeswoman for the facility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the young girl was suffering from Enterovirus when she was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 21, Bennett told the Los Angeles Times.
“It is never easy to lose a child, and our entire healthcare team at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan is deeply saddened by this family’s loss and mourns with them during this very difficult time,” Dr. Rudolph Valenti, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.
The CDC believes an enterovirus outbreak began in the U.S. in mid-August. Since then, 691 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia have contracted the virus. Almost all of the victims are children with a history of asthma.
Enterovirus infections are often mild, so they usually go undetected. The virus has been associated, rarely, with severe breathing troubles and, even more rarely, with neurological symptoms, including polio-like muscle weakness. Children with asthma have been particularly susceptible.
A 4-year-old boy in New Jersey also died after contracting the illness earlier this month. Jennifer Smith, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, told The Times that 31 people had tested positive for the virus in the state as of Oct. 7.
In California health officials said Friday that they have identified 32 cases of enterovirus D-68 statewide, with four cases in Los Angeles County, three in Orange County and one in Ventura County, according to the California Department of Public Health. All patients were identified as children ranging in age from a week old to 15 years old.
Times Staff Writer Lauren Raab contributed to this report.
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