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Springfield Hospital Awaiting Laboratory Confirmation Of Suspected Enterovirus

A treatment area in the emergency room at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, MA

A western Massachusetts hospital reported Thursday it has seen an increase in children coming to the emergency room with symptoms consistent with a virus that has swept through the Midwest.

Seven children are currently hospitalized at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield for a respiratory illness. There are no confirmed cases of the enterovirus. Test results are expected from the Centers For Disease Control in about a week.  Infectious disease specialist at Baystate, Dr. Michael Klatte, said most children who get infected will not require hospitalization.

"In the small number of patients we have seen who have been admitted to the hospital they are relatively ill requiring a high amount of oxygen support. However, even those ill individuals seem to rapidly improve."

The enterovirus has been confirmed in 16 states.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.