The first confirmed case of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been reported in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. This makes Arizona the 47th state to report a confirmed case.
“This first case of EV-D68 is in a child with a history of asthma who has recovered from the illness,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for the Disease Control Division at Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
“What this first case tells us is that EV-D68 is present in our community. We know that this virus is prevented in the same as other respiratory viruses, like the flu. The take-home message is for parents to remind their kids about the simple ways to protect themselves and their classmates from getting sick,” Sunenshine continued.
Laura Oxley, spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said a total of 44 cases have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control since August 5. Of those cases, one tested positive for the outbreak virus.
From mid-August to October 23, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 973 people in 47 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Only Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii have yet to report a confirmed case.
The CDC also reports that EV-D68 has been detected in specimens from eight patients who died and had samples submitted for testing.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health officials say the best way to prevent transmission of respiratory diseases like EV-D68 is by: washing hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, covering your cough and sneeze with the inside of your elbow, staying home when you’re sick and getting vaccinated. Although there is no vaccine for most respiratory viruses including EV-D68, everyone six months of age and older should receive influenza vaccine every year to protect themselves and others.