VDOE is providing information for the public and local education agencies regarding Enterovirus D68. VDOE works closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and other state and federal authorities to provide the latest information and guidance. Specific concerns about symptoms should be directed to your primary care provider. We ask the public’s support in efforts to minimize the opportunity to spread infections by keeping sick children at home for the duration of any illness.
Enterovirus D68: EV-D68 Facts for Schools
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. Enterovirus D68
infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses.
Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United
States for the last 40 years.
Hospitals in Missouri and Illinois are seeing more children than usual with severe
respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D68. Several other states are investigating
clusters of children with severe respiratory illness, possibly due to enterovirus D68. The
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is watching this situation closely and assisting states
with testing of specimens.
Non-polio enteroviruses are very common viruses. They cause about 10 to 15 million
infections in the United States each year. Anyone can become infected with non-polio
enteroviruses. Infants, children, and teenagers are more likely to become infected and
get sick, because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to
the viruses. Infants and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance
of developing complications.
You can become infected with non-polio enteroviruses by having close contact with an
infected person. You can also become infected by touching objects or surfaces that
have the virus on them and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Most people who are infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick, or they only
have mild illness. Symptoms of mild illness may include:
runny nose, sneezing, cough
body and muscle aches
Some non-polio enterovirus infections can cause:
hand, foot, and mouth disease
viral meningitis (infection of the covering of the spinal cord and/or brain)
Less commonly, a person may develop:
myocarditis (infection of the heart)
pericarditis (infection of the sac around the heart)
encephalitis (infection of the brain)
paralysisYou should see your health care provider if experiencing new onset of wheezing or an
increase in asthma symptoms.
Prevention and Treatment
There is no vaccine to protect you from non-polio enterovirus infection. Since many
infected people do not have symptoms, it is difficult to prevent non-polio enteroviruses
You can help protect yourself and others from infections by:
Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the toilet
and changing diapers
Avoiding close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces with standard disinfectants
Keeping children home from school or day care when they are sick
Ensuring optimal control of asthma
There is no specific treatment for non-polio enterovirus infection. People with mild
illness caused by non-polio enterovirus infection typically only need to treat symptoms.
They usually recover completely. However, some illnesses caused by non-polio
enteroviruses can be severe enough to require hospitalization.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should contact your health care
Hand washing information: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
Cover Your Cough Information & Posters:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio- enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html?s_cid=cdc_homepage_whatsnew_001. Updated by CDC, September 8, 2014.
Virginia Department of Health, Commissioner’s Letter to Clinicians, Emerging Infectious Update: Enterovirus D68. September 9, 2014.