The following is a news release from the Riverside County Public Health Department:
Health officials have confirmed Riverside County’s first case of a potentially serious respiratory illness in a teenager from southwest Riverside County.
The teen was treated at a medical facility in San Diego County for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) and is recovering at home, said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer for Riverside County. Several other suspected cases are also being investigated.
“The illness has affected many portions of the country and state, including Southern California, so its arrival in Riverside County is not a surprise,” said Kaiser. “But there are simple steps that can be taken to slow the spread and lesson its impact on the community.”
Here are some health tips to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses:
Do not go to work or school if you are feeling sick.
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.
San Diego and Los Angeles counties recently announced confirmed cases of the illness. Most of the illnesses across the country have occurred in young children, and many have reported a history of asthma. For children with asthma, parents should review the asthma plan and contact their health care provider if the condition becomes worse.
It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the U.S. each year. While there are more than 100 types of enteroviruses that commonly cause respiratory illness, EV-D68 is a less common type which was first identified in California in 1962. Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virusand then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes.
Enteroviruses can cause a wide range of illnesses, including some viruses that cause the common cold. EV-D68 has also been detected in children with other illnesses, including paralysis, but there is no known link between the virus and other types of illness. Although some enteroviruses can cause serious disease such as polio, the vast majority of enterovirus infections are minor and patients recover completely.
For more information about EV-D68 and other enteroviruses visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov .