Yonkers Student Diagnosed With Enterovirus-D68

A student at Cedar Place Elementary School in Yonkers has been diagnosed with enterovirus-D68, a potentially life-threatening respiratory virus that, according to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), primarily targets children and teenagers and has infected nearly 1000 Americans since August.

According to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, EV-D68 has infected nearly two dozen children in Westchester during the current outbreak. The virus spreads through respiratory secretions and can lead to flu-like symptoms such as fever, sneezing, and body aches, but can in severe cases also include wheezing and breathing difficulties.

Cedar Place Elementary school officials learned about the infected student over the weekend, says Yonkers Public Schools District Spokesperson Jerilynne Fierstein. Fierstein also said custodial staff had been assigned to pay close attention to the sanitary conditions of classrooms and common areas in which the infected student might have spent time.

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Read more: What Westchester Parents Need To Know About Enterovirus

“This is a virus,” said Fierstein, stating that the district will not disclose any additional information about the condition of the infected student. “With everything that is going on in the country we have to allay our parents’ fears and help them to educate their own children.”

In September, The Yonkers Public Schools website introduced an information page detailing how to prevent the spread of the virus. Following news of the student’s infection, school officials held an open parental meeting on Monday afternoon, during which parents had the opportunity to ask questions while officials informed them about the virus and what had happened over the weekend.

“We had health supervisors there to answer any further questions that the parents might have had,” said Fierstein, who called the meeting successful. “All questions were answered individually.”

Although the virus has been known to circulate every year, the CDC has said the number of reported infections in 2014 is much greater than during previous years. The CDC also reported that there are currently no antiviral medications available for people who have contracted the virus.

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