SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Rhode Island family is mourning the loss of their daughter who died from complications involving enterovius D68. It was heartbreaking news Wednesday, especially for parents and grandparents.
Wanda Guyton-Winspeare told 22News, “There’s nothing you can say to that mother that’s going to ease her pain. Nobody’s prepared. A mother is never prepared to bury her child. It’s supposedly the opposite way around, so my heart goes out to that family.”
Rhode Island health officials confirmed, the 10-year-old girl died from a staph infection, a complication involving enterovirus 68.
Dr. Bernard Kinane at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston said, “What happens is you get a viral infection, and then the bacteria take over. Now we’ve seen this before. It was relatively common in the 1980’s when I trained, and we haven’t seen it since.”
Doctors emphasized the fact that the girl did not die of enterovirus. She died of a rare combination of bacterial and viral infections. Parents shouldn’t panic.
Dr. Marie Vitale from Doctors Express in West Springfield told 22News it’s important to remember enterovirus is not a new disease. Enterovirus infects millions of people each year. Most people recover quickly.
Washing your hands often. Covering your cough. And getting a flu shot will help you avoid enterovirus and the flu.
Dr. Vitale said, “The flu vaccine is always a good idea, especially for those children who have those underlying respiratory illness because once again those are the children who become more sick if they contact influenza.”
So far enterovirus has infected 472 people in 41 states and the District of Columbia.