Enterovirus D68 Case Confirmed in Cascade County

The City-County Health Department has received confirmation of a case of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in Cascade County from the Montana Public Health Laboratory.

EV-D68 is one of many types of enteroviruses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), enteroviruses are very common viruses, causing about 10 to 15 million infections in the United States each year. EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enterovirusus.

Enteroviruses such as EV-D68 are contagious respiratory illnesses with symptoms that may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and muscle and body aches. The illness may also cause difficulty breathing and wheezing, especially for those with asthma or a history of wheezing. EV-D68 spreads from person to person through droplets when sneezing or coughing. It can also be spread when a person touches an object that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. Infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to be infected with EV-D68, but the virus can also affect adults. Children with asthma or other respiratory issues may be more susceptible to infection.

“With flu season just around the corner, this is a great time for people to ensure they are practicing healthy habits that will help prevent the spread of any illness, including EV-D68,” states Tanya Houston, CCHD Health Officer. “Prevention measures include frequent hand washing, covering your cough, and staying home when ill,” she adds.

In addition to hand washing and covering your cough, other prevention measures include routinely cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, especially objects like telephones and doorknobs that are frequently used by multiple persons. Individuals should avoid sharing cups or eating utensils, limit contact with ill persons, and refrain from touching their face with unwashed hands. Parents and guardians must also be vigilant in monitoring their children for symptoms and keeping them home from school and daycare when they are ill.

For more information on EV-D68, including prevention measures, visit the CDC online or call CCHD at 454-6950 and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse.