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CDC Confirms First Case of EV-D68 in Rhode Island Adult

The Rhode Island Department of Health today received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of a confirmed case of enterovirus D68 infection (EV-D68) involving an adult. The adult, who was recently hospitalized, has since improved and been discharged.

This confirmed case of EV-D68 was part of a batch of specimens sent to the CDC on September 15. There have been no deaths in Rhode Island or in the United States associated with EV-D68. The Rhode Island Department of Health announced last week that EV-D68 was most likely already in Rhode Island and issued the following precautions:

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) advises all parents and healthcare providers to be aware of symptoms of respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) and to promote good hand hygiene to protect against EV-D68, as well as other seasonal illnesses such as influenza (flu).

Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Patients who are very ill with EV-D68 have difficulty breathing, and may or may not have fever or wheezing. Many children with severe illness have had asthma or wheezing in the past. Parents whose children are sick with a cold and have difficulty breathing, or see symptoms getting worse, should contact their healthcare provider right away. Parents with children who have asthma should have a care plan in place with their healthcare provider to follow in the event of any illness.

To stop the spread of enteroviruses and other seasonal illness such as flu, everyone should:

Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, coughing or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid kissing or hugging people who are sick, or when sick. Avoid sharing dishes or eating utensils with people who are sick, or when sick. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick. Cover your cough; Cough into elbows—not hands. Discard used tissues right away.

Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall, and EV-D68 infections are likely to decline later in the fall. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral medication for enterovirus infections. Other viruses besides EV-D68 can cause respiratory illness and are also circulating this time of year. In the event of illness, parents, caregivers, and others should follow their healthcare provider's recommendations for treatment and care.

For more information, visit the CDC website.

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