There has been an increase in enterovirus D68 reported across the country over the last few months, resulting in enhanced surveillance locally. Orange County confirmed the first cases of enterovirus D68 on October 10, 2014 (see Press Release).
What is Enterovirus D68?
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses, which are very common and cause about 10-15 million infections in the U.S. every year. This virus was first identified in California in 1962.
In general, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become ill. That's because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses. Adults can get infected with enteroviruses, but they are more likely to have no symptoms or mild illness, like the common cold.
Infants and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of complications, and children with asthma may have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 infection.
How does Enterovirus D68 spread?
Enterovirus D68 virus spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces that are then touched by others.
Symptoms of Enterovirus D68
EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness.
Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.
Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing. See EV-D68 in the U.S., 2014 for details about infections occurring this year.
Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing or if their symptoms are getting worse.
Is there treatment for EV-D68?
There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
For mild respiratory illness, you can help relieve symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children.
Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized.
There are no antiviral medications currently available for people who become infected with EV-D68.
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick
Providers treating patients meeting the above case definition should consult with their local and state health department for laboratory testing of stool, respiratory, and cerebrospinal fluid specimens for enteroviruses, West Nile virus, and other known infectious etiologies.
Health departments may contact CDC for further laboratory and epidemiologic support by phone through the CDC Emergency Operations Center (770-488-7100), or by email at email@example.com. Confirmation of the presence of EV-D68 currently requires typing by molecular sequencing.
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