Enterovirus D68 In North Hempstead

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 The Nassau County Department of Health announced that a case of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been confirmed in a Nassau County resident.  The individual is a school-aged child who resides in the Town of North Hempstead.  The child became ill in early September, was hospitalized and is now recovering at home.

The Nassau County Department of Health is advising parents and health care providers to be aware of signs and symptoms of EV-D68, a common cold-like illness occurring mostly among young children. EV-D68 can in rare cases develop into a severe upper respiratory illness, even possibly resulting in hospitalization.  This virus appears to especially impact children with asthma and other underlying medical conditions. “I encourage parents to remind their children of ways to avoid catching colds, including washing hands frequently and avoiding touching their face, said Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, Nassau County Commissioner of Health. “I also ask parents to avoid sending sick children to school and other public places. Parents with children who have asthma should observe closely if their child catches a cold, and parents should not hesitate to consult with their pediatrician if they have any concerns.”

EV-D68 is one of many enteroviruses, and was first identified in California in 1962, but it has not been commonly reported in the United States.  Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes.  There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 other than management of symptoms. Mild symptoms of the illness may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body aches. 

 Nassau County Department of Health recommends the following steps to protect against EV-D68:

  • Wash hand often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • 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.These prevention tips are especially important for individuals or persons with family members who are infants, or who have chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems.Additional information on EV-D68 can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/

     

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