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CDC Confirms First Case of EV-D68 in New Jersey Child
Release Date: September 17, 2014

CDC Confirms First Case of EV-D68 in New Jersey Child

From: Donna Leusner
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:20 PM
Subject: DOH Press Release on Enterovirus EV-D68--going out momentarily

CDC Confirms First Case of EV-D68 in New Jersey Child
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed New Jersey's first case of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a potentially serious respiratory illness more likely found in infants and children, sometimes resulting in hospitalization. The confirmed case was identified from a specimen sent to the CDC from a Philadelphia hospital. The child has since improved and been discharged.

Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd is advising parents and health care providers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this respiratory illness with symptoms that range from mile to severe. Although enteroviruses are very common-especially in the late summer and fall—EV-D68 occurs less commonly than other enterovirus infections. Some 10 to 15 million enterovirus cases occur in the U.S. each year. In addition to New Jersey, 12 states reported cases as of yesterday.

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. Answers to frequently asked questions about enteroviruses and EV-D68 can be found at: http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/ev_faq.pdf external link

"The New Jersey Department of Health is closely monitoring for increases in respiratory illness in hospitals around the state," Commissioner O'Dowd said. "Parents and health care providers should be aware of the symptoms, which can range from mild to severe."

Typically, EV-D68 causes upper respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sneezing and body/muscle aches and possibly low-grade fever. Infected individuals generally recover on their own without incident. However, some individuals, especially those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, may experience severe complications and require hospitalization with supportive therapy.

If you, or your child, are experiencing cold like symptoms and are having difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider right away," said Commissioner O'Dowd.

The Department has been in communication with hospitals, local health departments, healthcare providers, child care centers and schools over the last week to monitor the situation and provide testing guidance. About a dozen specimens are being sent to the CDC for testing to determine if the EV-D68 type is present.

The preventive steps people can take to avoid becoming ill and the treatment are similar to those of most illnesses like the flu. Good hand hygiene is your best defense against getting infected with enterovirus.

To help protect yourself and others from enterovirus infections:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact (kissing, touching, sharing eating utensils and shaking hands) with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as door knobs and toys
  • Stay home when sick and call your healthcare provider
  • Use good respiratory hygiene; coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow and properly disposing of tissues.

There is no vaccine or specific antiviral medication for enterovirus infections. However, individuals should be aware of other illnesses that are preventable such as the flu. It's never too early to get a flu shot.

While there are more than 100 types of enteroviruses, which are very common viruses of respiratory illness, EV-D68 is less common.

Once we have identified the presence of EV-D68 in a region, there is no need for routine testing for this pathogen. It is important to remember that testing for EV-D68 will not change the treatment an ill child will receive.

Visit the New Jersey Department of Health at www.nj.gov/health external link for additional information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NJDeptofhealth external link
Donna Leusner
Director of Communications
NJ Department of Health
(609) 984-7160

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