State health officials announced Friday that there are now 19 cases of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a respiratory illness which can be serious in infants, children and individuals with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma.

Enterovirus D68/CDC
Enterovirus D68/CDC

The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and hospitals to conduct surveillance for additional cases of EV-D68 in the state.  Surveillance of hospital emergency department chief complaints indicates that statewide respiratory activity has returned within normal limits.

“The best way to prevent the spread of EV-D68 is through washing your hands with soap and water frequently, covering your cough and staying home when you’re sick,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “This virus can be quite serious and potentially even fatal. These measures are currently our best defense.”

Nationally, from mid-August to September 29, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 443 people from 40 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 40 states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

CDC is prioritizing testing of specimens from children with severe respiratory illness. Of the specimens tested by CDC lab, about half have tested positive for EV-D68. About one third have tested positive for an enterovirus or rhinovirus other than EV-D68. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page