September 22, 2014
HHS Media Coordinator
HHSPIO@buncombecounty.org or 828.775.1321
For Immediate Release
Increase in Respiratory Illness in WNC despite No Confirmed Cases of EV-D68
ASHEVILLE – The North Carolina Division of Public Health, as of Sept. 19, 2014, reports that there have been no confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in North Carolina. However, medical providers in Western North Carolina have recently seen an increase in the number of people, mainly children, with severe respiratory illness. Many of these children have asthma, and some of them have had to be hospitalized and placed on machines to assist their breathing.
By following these simple prevention methods, you can help protect yourself, your loved ones, and others in our community from respiratory illnesses:
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet, changing diapers or blowing your nose.
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.
Stay home when feeling sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm.
Get your flu vaccine. Although flu vaccines will not protect against EV-D68, they can help prevent another important cause of respiratory illness.
If you or your children have asthma, take your medications as prescribed and make sure your asthma is under good control.
Most respiratory infections will be mild and go away on their own. Medications can be used to treat the symptoms. Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Watch children, teens, and young adults for breathing difficulties, especially if they have asthma or other lung problems. If you or your child have cold symptoms and are having difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical care.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your medical provider or the Disease Control staff at your local health department (828-250-5109 for Buncombe County).
For more specific information about Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), visit the North Carolina Public Health and CDC webpages.