Officials with the Nassau County Department of Health recently announced that a North Hempstead child has been infected with Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). According to health officials the child was hospitalized after first becoming ill in early September, and is currently recovering at home.
First identified in Calif. in 1962, Enterovirus D68 has not been commonly reported in the U.S. Enteroviruses are transmitted through direct contact by someone or something already contaminated with the virus. Health officials say that there is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 other than management of symptoms. Mild symptoms of the illness may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough and body aches.
The Health Department are now advising parents and health care providers to be aware of signs and symptoms of EV-D68, which causes a common cold-like illness–mostly among young children–and can, in rare cases develop into severe upper respiratory illness, even possibly resulting in hospitalization. This virus appears to especially impact children with asthma and other underlying medical conditions.
“I encourage parents to remind their children of ways to avoid catching colds, including washing hands frequently and avoiding touching their face, said Nassau County Commissioner of Health Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein. “I also ask parents to avoid sending sick children to school and other public places. Parents with children who have asthma should observe closely if their child catches a cold, and parents should not hesitate to consult with their pediatrician if they have any concerns.”
The Nassau County Department of Health recommends the following steps to protect against EV-D68:
- Wash hand often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- 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.
These prevention tips are especially important for individuals or persons with family members who are infants, or who have chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. For more information on EV-D68 visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/