With Ebola still in the spotlight another disease has come to the attention of health care professionals.
According to The Center for Disease Control, Enterovirus D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Until this summer, it was not commonly reported in the United States.
The symptoms are flu-like – sneezing, coughing, fever and body aches. Some patients, especially those with asthma or other respiratory problems, may need to be hospitalized. The enterovirus spreads through contact with respiratory secretions of the infected.
Anyone can get EV-D68 but infants and children are most likely to get ill from it because they are lacking immunity.
According to the CDC, as of Sept. 17, 140 people in 16 states have been infected. The CDC notes that testing samples is a complex process and as the backlog gets processed, there will likely be an increase in cases and states with cases. This does not mean that the enterovirus is now spreading more, just that more current cases are coming to light.
The first Connecticut case was confirmed on the 9/17. The patient, a 6-year-old girl who was treated at Yale/New Haven hospital, has since been released.
To protect yourself from EV-D68: wash your hands often, avoid direct contact with people who are sick and disinfect surfaces often.
photo credit: CBS