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E-68 respiratory virus identified in Pennsylvania

Three cases of a respiratory illness called enterovirus 68 have been identified in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania health authorities reported Tuesday.

The cases of the virus, known as E-68, were identified from specimens collected at a hospital in Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which is not identifying the facility.

No cases of the virus have been identified from Pittsburgh hospitals, said department spokeswoman Holli Senior. Officials said 130 people in 12 states have been confirmed to have the virus.

Enteroviruses can cause coughing, wheezing and rashes with fever, officials said. For people with asthma or other breathing problems, it can pose a severe risk.

“Parents should be vigilant and aware of signs and symptoms, but it’s also important to know that there are other respiratory illnesses that are circulating and the best course of action if you’re unsure is to talk with your healthcare provider,” said said Dr. Carrie DeLone said, the state’s physician general.

Officials said people can protect themselves against most viruses by washing their hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.


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