RealNews

Virus may be cause of child death clusters

Authorities investigating the unexplained deaths of five children under the age of 8 this week in southeastern Virginia say a viral infection may be to blame, as officials in two other states are looking into a spate of similar deaths. Virginia state health officials leading the investigation said bioterrorism is an unlikely culprit in the as-yet-unexplained deaths this week. Trina Lee, public relations coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health, said some sort of viral infection is one of the leading theories among a team of investigators that now includes experts from the Centers for Disease and Control in Atlanta. “The thoughts are that this is possibly viral,” said Lee. She said the investigation into the cause of the deaths is ongoing. The department announced Thursday it was investigating the five deaths and said that a terror attack was unlikely to be the cause. All of the children were between the ages of 2 and 7 and all experienced upper respiratory symptoms, according to the department. The department said that no cause of death is known in any of the cases and no link among the deaths has been determined. Four of the cases were in the Tidewater area, and one was in Richmond. Full Story

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