Onondaga County Health Department’s Medical Director Quoc Nguyen, MD, announced today that the New York State Department of Health’s laboratory has reported two cases of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in two young children in Onondaga County. Dr. Nguyen confirmed that both children have been hospitalized; one remains in the hospital and the other child has been released. The Health Department is working closely with the New York State Department of Health and county hospitals to continue to monitor the current EV- D68 situation locally.
Dr. Nguyen explained, “Enteroviruses infections are common in the summer and fall months. Most people infected with EV-D68 do not have symptoms or have mild flu-like symptoms. However, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and may become sick, especially those individuals with a history of asthma or wheezing.
Symptoms of enterovirus illness can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body aches. The full range of symptoms is not well known. Parents and caregivers should have their children remain home if they are ill with respiratory illness until they are free of symptoms for 24 hours to lessen spreading of the illness. If a child is ill with respiratory difficulty, seek medical care immediately.
The virus can be found in secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, sputum and possibly stools. It appears to be spread through close contact with infected people and is likely spread from person- to -person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches surfaces. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections. Many infections will be mild and often go away after a few days, and only require symptomatic treatment. However, some people with severe respiratory symptoms may need to be hospitalized for more advanced therapy.
The Health Department cautions that there is no vaccine for Enterovirus D68 , but reinforces the following measures to help reduce the risk of becoming 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
· Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue
· 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
For more information about Enterovirus D68 visit: www.cdc.gov.