No Confirmed Cases of Enterovirus D68 in Spokane
One Case of Respiratory Illness Under Investigation in Spokane County, Meets Initial Criteria for Further Enterovirus Testing
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SPOKANE, Wash. – Sept. 12, 2014 – With several severe respiratory illnesses in Washington state under investigation for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) officials confirm they are working with local providers to investigate a respiratory illness in one area child, who met initial criteria for further testing. At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of EV-D68 in Spokane County or Washington state.
Cases of severe EV-D68 illness have been reported from Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. SRHD officials encourage local health care providers to consider EV-D68 as a possible cause of acute, severe, unexplained respiratory illness.
Most individuals who catch an enterovirus may experience symptoms similar to the common cold including sneezing, a runny nose and a cough. Some may have difficulty breathing and/or develop a rash. EV-D68 is sometimes accompanied by a fever or wheezing. If EV-D68 does appear locally, large numbers of children could develop respiratory infections in a short time period, as the virus spreads easily, similar to the common cold.
For mild respiratory illness, parents can help relieve symptoms by giving over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. Children with asthma or a history of breathing problems are particularly susceptible to severe symptoms. Parents should take their child to the doctor if the child has unexpected difficulty breathing.
“It’s important for families to make sure their child’s asthma symptoms are under control, and to see a health care provider if he or she develops a respiratory illness that worsens asthma symptoms, inexplicably ” said Dr. Joel McCullough, health officer for Spokane Regional Health District.
People who do not have severe illness do not need to seek medical evaluation. There is no vaccine for enterovirus infections. To decrease the risk for enterovirus infections:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds (alcohol hand gel is not as good as hand washing for enteroviruses)
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid contact with ill people
- Do not go to day care, school or work while ill
- 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
- Children and adults with asthma should be sure to have their asthma symptoms under control and see a health care provider if they develop a respiratory infection and their asthma worsens
Check for updates on the CDC web site by clicking here. More information is also available at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.