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What is enterovirus D68?
There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses. Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a non-polio enterovirus. Uncommonly reported in the U.S., this virus was first identified in California in 1962.
What are the symptoms of EV-D68 infection?
Mild to severe respiratory symptoms are associated with the EV-D68 infection, including fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body and muscle aches.
How does the virus spread?
Similar to other cold and flu viruses, EV-D68 spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
How many people in the United States have been confirmed to have EV-D68 infection?
From mid-August through October 15, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health facilities have confirmed a total of 780 cases of respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
Who is at risk?
EV-D68 primarily affects infants, children, and teenagers because they do not have immunity from previous exposure to these viruses. Children with asthma have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.
How is it diagnosed?
EV-D68 is diagnosed only through specific tests on specimens from a person’s nose and throat.
What are treatments?
There are no specific treatments other than over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. As usual, aspirin should not be given to children. Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized. Currently, there are no antiviral medications available to treat EV-D68.
How can I protect myself?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or utensils with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or your shirt sleeve, don’t use your hands. If you do use your hands, make sure you promptly wash your hands to avoid spreading the germs to yourself, others, and the environment.
- Stay home when you are sick!