On Friday, Oct. 10, the California Department of Public Health confirmed enterovirus EV-D68 infection in 32 patients so far this year, an increase of 18 since the initial confirmation of California cases on Oct. 1.
From mid-August to Oct.10, a total of 691 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia have been confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.
On Friday, Michigan public health officials confirmed the death of a 21-month-old girl diagnosed with enterovirus. She is the second child to die from this virus. The first was a child in New Jersey.
Two of the California cases are Riverside County residents. Barbara Cole, Riverside County’s Chief of the Disease Control Branch said, “Both patients should have a full and healthy recovery.” However she added that the county is awaiting the test results for three other individuals. Additional Southern California cases are in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego counties and the city of Long Beach.
Testing takes one to two weeks, and specimens from early October are still being tested, including Riverside County. The CDPH results suggest that EV-D68 has been circulating widely.
Preventive measures are important to help avoid spreading the virus. If a child has underlying health problems and develops trouble breathing, Cole recommends seeing a health professional.
Enterovirus is a virus, Cole stressed, “Antibiotics will not help.” It is a common virus, but the EV-D68 substrain can result in illness for young children.
CDPH will continue to monitor the circulation of EV-D68 and other viruses. This condition is not reportable in California and CDPH does not track the actual number of persons who have suspected or confirmed EV-D68 infection in California.