Enterovirus D68 Associated with Severe Respiratory Illness in Children

REPRINTED FROM the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians

Periodically, as the AzCEP Executive Team sees fit, we will forward alerts that we deem pertinent to you.

 

At the request of the Arizona Health Alert Network:

In late August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified by two states of an increase in children hospitalized with severe respiratory illness. Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) was identified in many of these patients. There are now several other states reporting increases in admissions for severe respiratory illness. It is possible that these are also associated with EV-D68.

EV-D68 appears to spread via close contact (e.g., saliva, sputum, feces) with infected individuals. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent EV-D68 and no specific antiviral treatment recommended.

However, patients can help protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses by:
o avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
o avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
o washing hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers;
o cleaning/disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick;
o ensuring vaccinations, including the influenza vaccine, are up to date.

Clinicians should be aware of EV-D68 as one of many causes of viral respiratory disease and should report clusters of unexplained respiratory illness to their local public health agency: http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/oids/contacts.htm.

Please refer to this MMWR for more detailed information: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm63e0908a1.htm

Thank you,
Arizona Health Alert Network

Dr. Steven Lipsky

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