Immediate attention: 6 confirmed cases of Enterovirus D-68 in NC. All cases children under 10

or Immediate Release

Confirmed Cases of EV-D68 in North Carolina

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Sept. 22, 2014, the presence of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in six patients from North Carolina. The presence of enterovirus D68 in North Carolina does not change any recommendations for prevention and treatment. The specimens that tested positive for EV-D68 were obtained from children ages 10 and under with respiratory illnesses. Specific information about the children, including county of residence or hospital location, is not being released in order to protect patient confidentiality.

Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes. Buncombe County Health Officials encourage the public to continue practicing simple prevention methods to help protect themselves, loved ones and others in the community from respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash hands vigorously and 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).

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