Several cases of Enterovirus-D68 have been confirmed in North Texas after test results came back positive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services and has appeared in more than a dozen states nationwide.
Enteroviruses are common and afflict up to 15 million people in the U.S. each year.
What are the Symptoms of EV-D68 Infection?
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.
How does the Virus Spread?
Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
Who is at Risk?
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. Children with asthma may have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 infection.
There is no vaccine to protect you from non-polio enterovirus infection.
Since many infected people do not have symptoms, it is difficult to prevent non-polio enteroviruses from spreading.
You can help protect yourself and others from non-polio enterovirus infections by –
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers,
- Avoiding close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are sick, and
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
For more information about enterovirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.