The Florida Department of Health has received confirmation of the presence of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection in an 8 year old boy who resides in Escambia County, Florida.

Enterovirus D68/CDC
Enterovirus D68/CDC

This is the second confirmed case of the outbreak virus in the state. Earlier this week, it was confirmed in a Polk County child.

The Department advises parents, childcare workers, and healthcare professionals to be vigilant for respiratory virus infections such as enterovirus (EV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza (flu).

Enterovirus D68 can cause difficulty breathing in infants and young children. Like RSV and the flu, EV-D68, is highly contagious and spreads through droplets in coughs or sneezes, or when someone touches a contaminated surface like a countertop or doorknob. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfectants have not been found to be effective against EV-D68. Frequent hand washing and the use of non-alcohol surface disinfectants are recommended.

Enterovirus D68 has signs and symptoms that are similar to the common cold, the flu, or RSV. Adults and older children might have only mild signs such as a cough, stuffy nose, and low-grade fever. People with asthma, particularly children, are at increased risk for severe presentations of EV-D68 infection. In rare cases, EV infections may become serious enough to require hospitalization.

From mid-August to October 9, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 678 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.

In addition, the CDC says EV-D68 has been detected in specimens from five patients who died and had samples submitted for testing.

A Mercer County, New Jersey boy was the 1st confirmed fatality due to EV-D68.

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