Oct. 1, 2014 — Four people have died after catching enterovirus D68, according to the CDC. It’s unclear what role the virus played in their deaths, though.
State and local health departments “are continuing to investigate,” says CDC spokeswoman Darlene Foote in an e-mail to WebMD.
One of the people, a child, died last week in Rhode Island, according to the state Department of Health. The child had a Staph infection in addition to enterovirus D68, and died from sepsis, a buildup of toxic chemicals in the bloodstream.
In a press release, health officials say the combination is rare.
The Boston Globe reports that the child was a 10-year-old girl. She died within a day of developing symptoms.
“We are all heartbroken to hear about the death of one of Rhode Island’s children,” says Michael Fine, MD, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health.
But he says the circumstances of the death were unusual, and most children recover without any complications. “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.”
Local health departments have not released information on the other three deaths.