Health District confirms cases of enterovirus D68 in Spokane Cou - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Health District confirms cases of enterovirus D68 in Spokane County

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the presence of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in Spokane County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the presence of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in Spokane County.
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SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Regional Health District confirmed with KHQ on Monday that there have been two confirmed cases of enterovirus D68 in Spokane County. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said two children hospitalized in September had respiratory illness associated with EV-D68. The exact ages of the two children were not provided, however we are told they were between the ages of 0 and 10-years-old and have since been discharged from the hospital. 

Similar to the national trend, the Health District said they are seeing signs of decreasing infections and so far, these are the only two cases that have been confirmed. 

"We are not surprised to find that EV-D68 caused some illnesses in Spokane given the widespread nature of this virus in other parts of the country,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, health officer for Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD). “As fall progresses, and as fewer hospitalizations are reported to us, we remain hopeful that this strain of virus is on the decline in our community.”

From mid-August to October 24, 2014, the CDC has confirmed a total of 998 people in 47 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. 

Spokane saw an increase in hospitalizations in late September to early October, with 32 individuals, with an average age of 4.5 years old, hospitalized. The CDC tested 24 of those individuals, and several tests came back negative prior to the two positive confirmations. The Spokane Regional Health District said it is possible that more results, both positive and negative, will be confirmed in the next few days. 

Most people who catch an enterovirus may experience symptoms similar to the common cold, however some may develop difficulty breathing and/or a rash. Children with asthma or a history of breathing problems are particularly susceptible to severe symptoms. 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).

For mild respiratory illness, parents can help relieve symptoms by giving over-the-counter medications for pain and fever.

There is no vaccine for enterovirus infections. To decrease the risk for enterovirus infections:

· Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds (alcohol hand gel is not as good as hand washing for enteroviruses)

· Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

· Avoid contact with ill people

· Do not go to day care, school or work while ill

· 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

· Children and adults with asthma should be sure to have their asthma symptoms under control and see a health care provider if they develop a respiratory infection and their asthma worsens


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