Enterovirus D68 now confirmed in New
departments provide advice on preventing the spread of respiratory
illness known as Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)
As you may be aware from recent media
coverage, several states in the Midwest reported clusters of a
respiratory illness known as Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) affecting
children and others over the last few weeks; more recently, cases of
EV-D68 have been confirmed in New York. Fort Plain Central School
District is providing information from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of
Health (DOH) to help parents and community members become better
informed about the illness and to help prevent the spread of the
What is EV-D68 and how many cases have been
EV-D68 is one of more than 100 types of
enteroviruses that cause 10 to 15 million infections annually in the
United States, though EV-D68 is less common than other types.
Between mid-August and September 12, 2014, there have been a total
of 97 cases of EV-D68 illness confirmed by the CDC; additional cases
have been confirmed in state-based laboratories. The virus can cause
severe respiratory illness in children and others. Children with
asthma seem to be especially susceptible.
Are there any confirmed cases in New York?
Yes. As of September 12, 2014, more than a
dozen cases of EV-D68 were confirmed in the Capital Region and
central New York by the DOH’s Wadsworth Laboratory and more samples
are being tested.
Cases also have been confirmed by the CDC in
Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri. Six
additional states (Ohio, Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, Washington and
Utah) are investigating clusters of severe respiratory illness and
some are sending samples to the CDC for testing.
The New York State Department of Health and
the CDC will continue to monitor the spread of the illness and issue
updated reports. See
Who can get infected with enteroviruses?
Anyone is susceptible to becoming infected
with enteroviruses. However, infants, children and teens are more
likely to become ill because they have yet to build up immunity to
such viruses. In some states, children with asthma seem to be at
higher risk for developing severe symptoms, as do people with
chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.
What are the symptoms of EV-D68?
The symptoms of mild cases include: runny
nose, sneezing, coughs, body aches, fever, rashes and mouth
blisters. It is often difficult to tell the difference between the
common cold and EV-D68, as the symptoms are so similar. Parents
should contact their family physician with concerns, if children
have difficulty breathing or if symptoms become severe.
How does the virus spread?
Enteroviruses are spread through close contact
with someone who is infected — for example, by touching objects or
surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching your eyes,
nose or mouth.
How can I protect myself?
You can help protect yourself from EV-D68 (and
other viral infections) by:
• Frequently and thoroughly washing your hands, especially after
• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
• Refraining from kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating
utensils with people who are ill;
• Disinfecting surfaces that are touched frequently, such as toys
and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
“It is important that we follow common sense
rules to prevent the spread of this virus, as we do for flu and
other contagious illnesses,” said Acting State Health Commissioner
Dr. Howard Zucker on the DOH website. “Because there is no specific
treatment or vaccination against this virus, our best defense is to
prevent it by practicing proper hygiene.”
What are the treatments for EV-D68?
There are no specific treatments for EV-D68 or
any vaccines to prevent EV-D68-related illnesses. According to the
CDC, many infections are mild and require only treating the
symptoms. People who have severe respiratory illnesses caused by
EV-D68 may need hospitalization.
Have there been any recommendations for school
maintenance staff to change their cleaning products or procedures?
At this point in time, there have been no
recommendations from the CDC or state/local health departments to
change cleaning procedures or products. Districts and their risk
management staff will continue to monitor the situation and watch
How can I get more information?
Visit the CDC website at
or the New York State Department of Health website at See
You can also contact your family physician.
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