A case of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) was confirmed in Ventura County, announced the state’s Department of Public Health today. Along with three cases in San Diego County, these are the first confirmed California cases of the respiratory virus, which can cause breathing difficulty, particularly for children who suffer from asthma. EV-D68 symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches, and sometimes fever. Parents are cautioned to seek medical attention if their child begins to experience wheezing, difficulty speaking or eating, blueness around the lips, or if the child’s belly pulls in from breathing difficulty.
Like most flus, EV-D68 is probably spread through airborne particles from coughing and sneezing, and from contaminated surfaces. Routine cleanliness, such as handwashing and not sharing cups or utensils, is advised, as well as not touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. No specific vaccine exists for this enterovirus, though Public Health advises getting an influenza vaccine annually.