Chester County Health Alert: Enterovirus D68

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Hospitals in Missouri and Illinois are reporting more children than usual with severe respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), and in several other states children are developing severe respiratory illness, possibly due to EV-D68.  While there are no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania at this time, the Chester County Health Department is providing you with information on the background of EV-D68 and the recommended prevention measures to limit the potential spread of the virus.

EV-D68 is a common virus which causes respiratory illness. Symptoms include cough, runny nose, sore throat and sometimes fever.  Those who have tested positive for the virus are children age 6 weeks to 16 years. Children who have a history of wheezing or asthma are at higher risk for hospitalization, pneumonia and other complications.

There are no medications available for treating EV-D68. Many infections will be mild. Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized. Please consult your healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms.

Protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • 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
  • Stay home if you are sick.

To read the entire Chester County Health Department alert click here.