Publications/Press Releases

NC DHHS Confirms Three Additional Enterovirus D68 Cases

       October 9, 2014, 12:01 pm
 

Raleigh, NC - The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services today confirmed the presence of three additional cases of Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, in North Carolina, totaling nine since September 22, 2014.  The three specimens that tested positive for EV-D68 were obtained from children ages 10 and under with respiratory illnesses.

One additional case that meets the criteria established by CDC for their investigation of acute neurological illness with focal limb weakness was detected in the eastern part of the state. The patient with this criteria tested positive for rhinovirus/enterovirus but additional testing is being conducted to determine the presence of Enterovirus D68.
 
"The confirmed cases were located in different parts of the state, so it is important for everyone, including parents and schools, to take necessary actions to prevent the spread of EV-D68 and other respiratory viruses. There are no vaccines and no specific treatments for EV-D68, so prevention is the best option," said Dr. Zack Moore, a pediatrician and epidemiologist with the Division of Public Health.
 
Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes. Health officials are recommending that people take the following actions to protect themselves from infection with EV-D68 and other respiratory illnesses:


1. Wash hands vigorously and often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
2. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
3. Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
4. Frequently disinfect touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses and 10-15 million infections across the United States each year. Enteroviruses are common viruses that can cause a range of symptoms, including runny nose, coughing, mouth sores, fever and body aches. Some patients will also develop wheezing and difficulty breathing. If you or your child experience cold-like symptoms and difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider right away.
 
Since people with asthma have a higher risk of respiratory illnesses, health officials are reminding everyone with asthma to take their medications as prescribed and make sure their asthma is under good control. Health officials are also recommending getting a flu vaccine as soon as possible to help prevent another important cause of respiratory illness that could be going around at the same time.

 
For more information, visit the CDC website on Enterovirus D68: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html.