The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today said it has been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of 12 new laboratory-confirmed cases of enterovirus D68 infection (EV-D68).
The new cases are all pediatric patients from three Connecticut hospitals. All patients have recovered and been discharged. Earlier this month, DPH announced the first confirmed case of EV-D68 in a Connecticut child.
DPH advises parents and health care providers to be aware of the symptoms of this respiratory illness. Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Patients who are very ill with EV-D68 have difficulty breathing, and may or may not have fever or wheezing. Many of the children with severe illness caused by this virus have had asthma or wheezing in the past.
The preventive steps people can take to avoid becoming ill and the treatment are similar to those of most respiratory illnesses like the flu. Good hand hygiene is your best defense against getting infected with enterovirus:
- Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially
if someone is sick
According to the CDC, EV-D68 has been reported in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Connecticut health officials said it is likely this virus is causing respiratory illnesses in many places across Connecticut. DPH is working with health care providers and local health departments to closely monitor for increases in respiratory illnesses in hospitals across the state.
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. In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall. We are currently in the middle of the enterovirus season.There is no vaccine or specific antiviral medication for enterovirus infections.
Answers to frequently asked questions about enteroviruses and EV-D68 can be found here.