Three Cases of Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in Michigan

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

For Immediate Release: September 19, 2014

LANSING, Mich. –The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) today received testing results by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory that three specimens submitted by the MDCH have tested positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) to date. Michigan has seen an increase in severe respiratory illness in children across the state, and the department is working with the CDC, Michigan local health departments and hospitals to monitor the increase.

Of the three confirmed Michigan cases, additional details are not available at this time pending notification of patients and families. Michigan is working with hospitals and local health departments to investigate these cases. Based on the increase seen across the state, this is the first set of positive cases and Michigan expects confirmation of additional cases.

Nationally, clusters of EV-D68 infections have impacted the pediatric population in multiple states. Since mid-August, people from 19 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68, including Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Symptoms of EV-D68 infection can include wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever and racing heart rate. Most people infected with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious requiring hospitalization. Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections but supportive care can be provided.

Young residents with asthma may be at an increased risk of severe complications and are encouraged to be vigilant in taking their asthma controlling medications. Further, Michiganders can protect themselves from enterovirus by taking general hygiene precautions:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
  • 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 doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

For additional information about EV-D68 or the national investigation, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html.

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