Since mid-August 2014, the United States has experienced a nationwide outbreak of Entervorius D68 (EV-D68) associated with respiratory illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are in the middle of the enterovirus season, but the organization expects there will be a decline in EV-D68 infections as we near the end of the year.
PROTECT YOUR HEALTH - WITH THESE TOOLS AND TIPS
This outbreak continues to be monitored by the CDC and state public health officials. The following resources from the CDC provide additional information on this virus:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is Enterovirus D68?
A: Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68 is one of the more than 100 types of enteroviruses. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 100 types of enteroviruses causing 10-15 million infections in the U.S. each year. Enteroviruses, which cause symptoms like a very intense cold, are carried in the intestinal track and often spread to other parts of the body. EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections from other enteroviruses. EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962 and, since then, cases have rarely been reported in the U.S.
Q What are the symptoms of EV-D68?
A: EV-D68 has been reported to cause mild to severe respiratory illness. However, the full spectrum of EV-D68 illness is not yet well-defined. The virus usually starts like the common cold; symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and a cough although some people infected with EV-D68 may develop a severe cough, fever, rash or wheezing and/or have difficulty breathing.
Q: How is EV-D68 treated?
A: According to the CDC, there is no specific treatment or antiviral medications available 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.
Q: Are there any preventive measures that can be taken against EV-D68?
A: There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following measures that can help prevent respiratory illness:
- 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
Q: Are PURELL® products effective against EV-D68?
A: PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer formulations have not been tested against this virus. EV-D68 is a non-enveloped virus, which is generally hard to kill or inactivate with alcohol. At this time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending handwashing as a preventative measure against EV-D68.