About Enterovirus

Non-polio enteroviruses are very common, causing about 10 to 15 million infections in the United States (US) each year. Anyone can get infected with non-polio enteroviruses. EV-D68 is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses.

Many people who are infected with non-polio enteroviruses are asymptomatic or have mild illness. Symptoms of mild illness may include: fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, skin rash, mouth blisters, and body and muscle aches. More severe illness may include febrile rash illness, and neurologic illness, such as aseptic meningitis and encephalitis. EV-D68, however, primarily causes mild to severe respiratory illness, although the full spectrum of disease remains unclear.

How is EV-D68 transmitted?

EV-D68 is not frequently identified, so it is less studied and the ways it spreads are not as well-understood as other enteroviruses. EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.

Is there a vaccine or treatment?

There is no specific vaccine or treatment for EV-D68 infections. Many infections will be mild and self-limited, requiring only treatment of the symptoms. Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy. No antiviral medications are currently available for treating of EV-D68 infections.

How can I help prevent the spread of EV-D68?

Non-polio enteroviruses, including EV-D68, can be found in an infected person’s feces (stool), eyes, nose, and mouth secretions (such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum), or blister fluid. You can help protect yourself from Non-polio enteroviruses by maintaining good hygiene. Wash your 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.

What is CDC doing to prevent spread?

CDC is watching this situation closely and helping the states with testing of specimens. Enterovirus infections, including EV-D68, are not reportable, but laboratory detections of enterovirus types are reported voluntarily to the National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS), which is managed by CDC. Since the original isolation of EV-D68 NESS received 79 EV-D68 reports during 2009’2013.

University of Pennsylvania Health System and Student Health Service is actively monitoring the situation.  Should a student feel concerned about a potential exposure, contact 215-746-3535 and select the option to speak with a Nurse.

For more information on EV-D68, please visit the CDC website.

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