CDC Confirms First Case Of Ev-d68 In Connecticut Child

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of the severe respiratory infection enterovirus D68 involving a Connecticut child, the state Department of Public Health said Wednesday. 

The child, who was recently hospitalized, has since improved and been discharged, the state said. The Department of Public Health did not release details on the child who diagnosed with EV-D68, but the patient was a 6-year-old girl who was treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

At least five hospitals in the state — including Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital — have sent samples from children for testing for EV-D68 by the CDC. This is the first case to be confirmed in Connecticut.

More than 130 cases have been confirmed nationwide in more than a dozen states, including New York and New Jersey. 

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen is advising parents and health care providers to be aware of the symptoms of this severe respiratory illness. 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 of the children with severe illness caused by this virus have had had asthma or wheezing in the past.

"If your child is sick with a cold and having difficulty breathing, or their symptoms are getting worse, then contact your health care provider right away," said Mullen. “If your child has asthma, make sure to follow the care plan your health care provider has already outlined.”

The preventive steps people can take to avoid becoming ill and the treatment are similar to those of most respiratory illnesses such as the flu. Good hand hygiene is your best defense against getting infected with enterovirus:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers;
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoiding kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick; and
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

Given this confirmed case of illness caused by EV-D68 in Connecticut, it is likely this virus is already causing respiratory illnesses in many places across Connecticut, the state said.

Specimens from patients with respiratory illnesses that could be due to EV-D68 at four other Connecticut hospitals are being sent to the CDC for testing. Health officials said they expect to receive more reports of respiratory illness that may be related to EV-D68.

There is no vaccine or specific antiviral medication for enterovirus infections.

Answers to frequently asked questions about enteroviruses and EV-D68 can be found here at the CDC website.


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