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Enterovirus D68

(Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Enterovirus D68)

Health Alert (9/12/14)

Information is from the CDC Web Site (9/10/14)

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States for the last 40 years.

For General Public

Symptoms

  • EV-D68 has been reported to cause mild to severe respiratory illness. However, the full spectrum of EV-D68 illness is not well-defined.

Most people who are infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick, or they only have mild illness. Symptoms of mild illness may include:

  • fever
  • runny nose, sneezing, cough
  • skin rash
  • mouth blisters
  • body and muscle aches

Some non-polio enterovirus infections can cause

Less commonly, a person may develop:

  • myocarditis (infection of the heart)
  • pericarditis (infection of the sac around the heart)
  • encephalitis (infection of the brain)
  • paralysis

People who develop myocarditis may have heart failure and require long term care. Some people who develop encephalitis or paralysis may not fully recover.

Newborns infected with non-polio enterovirus may develop sepsis (infection of the blood and other organs). But this is very rare.

 

Transmission

  • EV-D68 is not frequently identified, so it is less studied and the ways it spreads are not as well-understood as other enteroviruses. EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
  • Non-polio enteroviruses can be found in an infected person's
    • feces (stool),
    • eyes, nose, and mouth secretions (such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum), or
    • blister fluid.
  • You can get exposed to the virus by—
    • having close contact, such as touching or shaking hands, with an infected person,
    • touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them,
    • changing diapers of an infected person, or
    • drinking water that has the virus in it.

If you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands, you can get infected with the virus and become sick.

Pregnant women who are infected with non-polio enterovirus shortly before delivery can pass the virus to their babies. For more information, see Pregnancy & Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection.

Mothers who are breastfeeding should talk with their doctor if they are sick or think they may have an infection.

Non-polio enterovirus can be shed (passed from a person's body into the environment) in your stool for several weeks or longer after you have been infected. The virus can be shed from your respiratory tract for 1 to 3 weeks or less. Infected people can shed the virus even if they don't have symptoms.

Treatment

  • There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections.
    • Many infections will be mild and self-limited, requiring only treatment of the symptoms.
    • Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy.
  • No antiviral medications are currently available for treating of EV-D68 infections.
  • There is no specific treatment for non-polio enterovirus infection. People with mild illness caused by non-polio enterovirus infection typically only need symptom treatment. They usually recover completely. However, some illnesses caused by non-polio enteroviruses can be severe enough to require hospitalization.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should contact your
health care provider.

Prevention

  • There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.
  • You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
    • 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

 

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