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Minnesota Records First Case of Enterovirus D-68

PHOTO: Minnesota has joined the growing list of states confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D-68. Photo credit: Kenn W. Kiser/Morguefile.
PHOTO: Minnesota has joined the growing list of states confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D-68. Photo credit: Kenn W. Kiser/Morguefile.
September 18, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting the state's first case of an illness linked to Enterovirus D-68, which continues to sicken children across the country.

The child in the Minnesota case is now recovering at home, after having been hospitalized with acute respiratory symptoms. Epidemiologist Cynthia Kenyon at the Minnesota Department of Health says with the recent jump in the number of children going to the doctor, the discovery was not surprising.

"With all the increases we saw last week, we were expecting we would probably find it sometime this week," she says. "I think it just tells us is that it's probably one of the reasons why we're seeing increased hospital visits and hospitalizations."

In addition to Minnesota, at least 17 states have now confirmed respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D-68 since mid-August. Those most at risk are infants, kids and teens. Those with asthma have a higher risk for severe respiratory issues. Thus far, no children have died from the illness.

Kenyon says taking precautions against this particular virus is much like protecting oneself from colds or the flu.

"Wash your hands. Stay home if you're sick. And if you're sick with cold-like symptoms, treat them like you normally would," says Kenyon. "Get a lot of sleep. Drink lots of fluids. And if you start to see your child have trouble breathing or wheezing, that's when you would want to call your provider."

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN