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Valley View Hospital Reports Possible Virus Cases

Sep 11, 2014

Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.
Credit Christopher Mullen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

   Valley View Hospital issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying doctors are treating a number of patients with symptoms similar to a virus making the rounds in Denver.  Valley View Executive Director Stacey Gavrell released the statement, which says, quote: “While a number of patients have had respiratory symptoms that could be the EV-D68, they have not been confirmed.”

Doctors there have treated thousands of patients, some of them confirmed cases of a rare virus called Enterovirus D68 (or, EV-D68).

The Valley View Hospital statement went on to say patients there have mild and limited symptoms. The virus can sometimes act like the common cold, and it takes extra testing to know whether a patient definitely has the unusual virus. See below for the full statement from Valley View Hospital.

Garfield County said Friday its public health office is "in regular and direct contact with many health care providers in the county regarding contagious illnesses which may occur at any time. Should any widespread increases in incidences of contagious illness be noted in these communications, the county will provide information on health care precautions to citizens."

As of Friday afternoon, there are no reported cases in Eagle and Pitkin Counties. Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley have said this week they’re not worried about an outbreak of the virus here. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a statement on Monday, September 8th, about the virus. It included the following suggestion for health care workers: "Medical providers are not required to report known or suspected cases of EV-D68 to public health authorities. However, medical providers are asked to report clusters or outbreaks of unexplained respiratory illnesses to their local public health agency or to the department." The latter would likely refer to county medical offices.

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Valley View statement regarding enterovirus-D68

September 11, 2014

Recent reports from Denver and other cities in the country regarding enterovirus-D68 have raised questions about the presence of this virus in Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley. To date, Valley View is not experiencing a significant rise in severe respiratory illnesses in our pediatric patients. While a number of patients have had respiratory symptoms that could be the EV-D68, they have not been confirmed.

Like many hospitals, Valley View can test for enterovirus but cannot perform typing to specifically identify EV-D68. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers testing that can specifically identify EV-D68.

"Our patients who have shown some of these symptoms so far have been mild and limited," said Stacey Gavrell, executive director of community relations and development. Gavrell also noted that healthcare professionals are not required to report known or suspected cases of EV-D68 infection to health departments because it is not a reportable disease in the United States.

"We will continue to monitor potential cases and work with the state and local health departments as appropriate."

Valley View's healthcare professionals are aware of the viruses and how best to support patients. In addition to the hospital and its emergency department, Valley View includes Pediatric Partners which serves pediatric patients through locations in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Silt and Eagle.

"We encourage everyone to take the following steps to prevent respiratory viruses: frequent hand washing; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups etc with people who are sick," said Gavrell.  "And we encourage regularly disinfecting frequently used surfaces."

Should symptoms arise, parents should contact their primary care provider.