October 03, 2014
Health Department Reminds Parents and Care Providers to be Watchful
The Vermont Department of Health has received the first confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention that enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is circulating in the state.
Of the two results received today, one was positive for EV-D68 and one was negative. The positive result was from a child younger than school age, who has since recovered.
This confirms what we expected that this particular virus is circulating in Vermont just as it is in most other states, said Patsy Kelso, state epidemiologist for infectious disease.
EV-D68 is one type of virus from a group of very common viruses called enterorviruses. The U.S. is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory illness, but not all respiratory illnesses occurring now are caused by EV-D68.
This is the season for respiratory illnesses including enteroviruses but we are not seeing any unusual increase or pattern of illness around the state, said Kelso. We are reminding care providers and parents to be watchful and to get medical attention for anyone who is having difficulty breathing, or if symptoms are getting worse.
EV-D68 can cause infections with mild to severe respiratory illness, or no symptoms at all. Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Anyone can get infected with enteroviruses, but infants, children and teens who get infected are more likely to get sick. Children with asthma are at risk for severe symptoms from EV-D68 and other respiratory illnesses.
Enteroviruses, just like a cold or the flu, are spread through coughing or sneezing, contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes. Not all clusters or outbreaks of respiratory illness occurring now are due to EV-D68.
To help keep illness from spreading:
Wash hands often and well with soap and water for 20 seconds
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick, or when you are sick
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve not your hands
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs
Stay home and away from others when you are sick
There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Its important to stay as healthy as possible, and the Health Department advises anyone age 6 months and older to get vaccinated against the flu as early in the season as possible.
For more information about enterovirus D68 visit healthvermont.gov
Media Contact: Communication Office, 802-863-7281
Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: October 03, 2014 09:58:14