ALBANY, N.Y. (September 24, 2014) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed the spread of enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) throughout New York State and is again reminding New Yorkers to take precautions to stop new infections.
“EV-D68 has spread across the state. New Yorkers must take precautions to protect children, especially those who are immune-compromised or have asthma and other respiratory problems, from getting the virus,” said acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “We will continue to work with our partners at the CDC and local health departments to ensure that all New Yorkers have the information they need to prevent infection.”
Enterovirus is a very common cause of respiratory illness transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. While there are more than 100 different enteroviruses, EV-D68 is one of the less common types.
There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections other than management of symptoms and there are no specific anti-viral medications currently available for this infection. It is important to take steps to protect yourself and others from the virus as you would with any other respiratory infection, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your 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.
Symptoms of enterovirus illness can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body aches. Because EV-D68 has not been commonly reported, the full spectrum of illness due to this type of enterovirus is not well known.
DOH and the Wadsworth Center Laboratory have been working closely with the CDC, local health departments, and health care providers to monitor the spread and type of virus in New York and across the U.S. The Wadsworth Center is the only facility in New York State and one of a few nationally that can perform EV-D68 testing.
Additionally, DOH has issued a health alert with information and guidance regarding EV-D68 to health care providers across the state.
- Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types.
- It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year.
- Enteroviruses can cause respiratory illness, febrile rash, and neurologic illnesses, such as aseptic meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain).
- Most infected people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious.
- Infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become sick.
- Most enterovirus infections in the United States occur seasonally during the summer and fall.
- Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses.
- EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States.
More information about enterovirus EV-D68 can be found at: