Enterovirus D-68 Case Identified in Imperial County

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Enterovirus-D68

IMPERIAL COUNTY – The Imperial County Public Health Department announced today that a lab-confirmed case of enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) infection was reported this week in a child residing in Imperial County. The child, who was hospitalized earlier this month for a severe respiratory illness, has since recovered and was discharged from the hospital.

EV-D68 causes respiratory illness and spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces. Symptoms of EV-D68 include fever (although fever may not be present), runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Some children have more serious illness with breathing difficulty and wheezing, particularly children with a history of asthma.

The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 associated with severe respiratory illness. This case was identified through the Public Health Department’s Severe Acute Respiratory Infection surveillance project conducted in both local hospitals. The Public Health Laboratory also conducts testing for respiratory illnesses and can identify enterovirus. Positive specimens are then sent to the California Public Health Laboratory to determine the specific type of enterovirus.

Dr. Stephen Munday, County Health Officer, stated, “The best way to prevent transmission of enteroviruses is to wash hands often with soap and water; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid 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.”
This is the first lab-confirmed case of Enterovirus D-68 reported to date in Imperial County. As of October 17, 2014, the California Department of Public Health has identified EV-D68 in 44 patients throughout the state. Nationwide, more than 900 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 since mid-August.

Parents should seek medical attention immediately for children who are having any breathing difficulty (wheezing, difficulty speaking or eating, belly pulling in with breaths, blueness around the lips), particularly if the child suffers from asthma. There is no specific treatment for persons with EV-D68, nor is there a vaccine to prevent it. However, everyone six months of age and older should receive influenza vaccine every year to protect themselves against that important cause of respiratory disease.

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The Imperial County Public Health Department will be hosting two mobile flu clinics this weekend for north county residents as part of its annual mass vaccination exercise and to make the flu vaccine available to those areas where flu shots are not easily accessible.

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The Imperial County Public Health Department will be hosting two mobile flu clinics this weekend for north county residents as part of its annual mass vaccination exercise and to make the flu vaccine available to those areas where flu shots are not easily accessible.

On Saturday October 25th the mobile flu clinics will offer flu shots at the Westmorland Community Presbyterian Church from 8:00 am -10:00 am and at the Calipatria Well-Being Center from 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm. In addition, flu vaccine is available with local physicians, community clinics and local pharmacies. Individuals who wish to receive the flu shot from their doctor will need to contact their healthcare provider directly about the availability of flu vaccine.

For more information regarding EV-D68 please visit the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html