ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has confirmed 39 cases of the enterovirus EV-D68 in children across the state.
According to the NYSDOH, the EV-D68 virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illnesses or no symptoms at all.
Some of the symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches, and muscle aches.
If the virus is more severe, symptoms, while less common, include wheezing and difficulty breathing. Officials say in some rare cases, the virus can cause acute flaccid myelitis, which causes weakness in the arms and legs.
The NYSDOH has submitted suspected cases of acute flaccid myelitis to the CDC for further investigation, but no cases of AFM have been confirmed in New York State so far in 2018.
While infants, children and teens are most likely to get the EV-D68 virus, adults can get it as well.
“All parents must take simple steps to protect their children, especially those who are immune-compromised or have respiratory problems, to avoid becoming infected," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in a released statement. “We will continue to work with our partners at the CDC and local health departments to make sure that all New York families have the information they need to prevent their children and others from getting the virus.”
Enteroviruses can be transmitted through close contact with an infected person. There is no specific treatment for the EV-D68 virus, other than managing symptoms.
Here are some tips from the NYSDOH to protect you and your family from contracting the illness:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
• Avoid touching your 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.
• Use the same precautions you would use to prevent the spread of influenza.
For more information about enterovirus EV-D68 go to: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html