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Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses.
This virus was first identified in California in 1962, but it has not been commonly reported in the United States.
EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Most of the children who got very ill with EV-D68 infection in Missouri and Illinois had difficulty breathing, and some had wheezing. Many of these children had asthma or a history of wheezing.
Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
From mid-August to September 19, 2014, a total of 160 people in 22 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. (See States with Lab-confirmed Enterovirus D68.) The cases of EV-D68 infection were confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories that notified CDC.
You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
• 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.
Since people with asthma are higher risk for respiratory illnesses, they should regularly take medicines and
maintain control of their illness during this time. They should also take advantage of influenza vaccine since
people with asthma have a difficult time with respiratory illnesses.