EV-D68 causes respiratory illness and the virus spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces. Symptoms of EV-D68 include fever (although fever may not be present), runny nose, sneezing, cough and body and muscle aches. Some children have more serious illness with breathing difficulty and wheezing, particularly children with a history of asthma.
The New York State Health Department has said that Enterovirus EV-D68 is present statewide.
In response, the Rockland County Department of Health is sharing preventive advice to help families stay healthy during flu season and beyond:
• 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
Parents should seek medical attention immediately for children who are having any breathing difficulty (wheezing, difficulty speaking or eating, belly pulling in with breaths, blueness around the lips), particularly if the child suffers from asthma.
There is no specific treatment for persons with EV-D68, nor is there a vaccine to prevent it. However, everyone six months of age and older should receive influenza vaccine every year to protect themselves against that important cause of respiratory disease.
For more information about EV-D68, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov