The first patient with a confirmed case of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in the Sunshine State is recovering in Polk County, according to the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH).

Polk County, Florida Image/David Benbennick
Polk County, Florida
Image/David Benbennick

Health officials advise people to be vigilant against not only EV-D68, but the more common viruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza.

“The most effective way to prevent enteroviruses is to practice good hygiene regularly by washing hands often,” said Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children’s Medical Services, Dr. Celeste Philip. “Those having cold-like or flu-like symptoms should stay home from child care centers, school or work and, if possible, remain apart from other family members.”

Handwashing is key; however, health officials say  alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfectants have not been found to be effective against EV-D68.

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), working with state health departments, has identified at least three separate strains of EV-D68 that are causing infections in the United States this year; the most prominent strain is related to the strains of EV-D68 that were detected in the United States in 2012 and 2013. It is common for multiple strains of the same enterovirus type to be co-circulating in the same year.

In Florida, the Florida Bureau of Public Health Laboratories are the only laboratories able to provide specific testing to determine the type of enterovirus, like EV-D68, ill patients may have.

With the addition of Tennessee today, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 664 people from 45 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.

At least one death has been attributed to EV-D68 in a New Jersey child. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page