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Enterovirus D68 confirmed in Snohomish County

September 19, 2014 - SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the presence of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in Washington state, including Snohomish and King Counties. The CDC testing confirmed that two children, one from Snohomish County and one from King County who had been hospitalized at Seattle Children’s Hospital has respiratory illness associated with EV-D68.

"The spread of EV-D68 reminds us how important it is to get back to basics: washing hands, covering coughs, & staying home when ill," said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, MD, MPH, Director and Health Officer of the Snohomish Health District. "And although here is no vaccine for this virus, with flu season approaching, we also need to get vaccinated in order to protect all of us."

The results of the testing also show that EV-D68 is not alone in causing serious respiratory illness. The tests indicated that a variety of common cold viruses that cause uncomplicated infections in most children can cause severe disease in asthmatics and those with underlying lung diseases.

Many people who get sick from EV-D68 have only mild symptoms, like runny nose or coughing with or without fever. Parents should be watchful for any signs of wheezing or worsening asthma and seek medical help promptly if breathing difficulty occurs. Children and adults with asthma should be sure to take their medications as prescribed and have an asthma control plan with their health care provider. They should contact their healthcare provider promptly if asthma symptoms worsen even after taking medication.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for EV-D68 infections. Testing is done to determine when the virus is present in the community, but is not helpful for individual patients and is not needed or available in non-hospitalized cases.

For additional information on enterovirus D-68: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html

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