Thirty-nine children have been confirmed to possess enterovirus EV-D68 in New York State, and the New York State Department of Health has advised parents and health care providers to be cognizant of symptoms.
News 8 checked with local counties, and they do not report any cases of the virus.
In rare cases, the virus can lead to acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) that causes severe muscle weakness in arms and legs. Other severe symptoms, which are also uncommon, include wheezing and difficulty breathing but are less common according to the New York State Department of Health. Frequent symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches and muscle aches.
The Department’s Wadsworth Laboratory is the only laboratory in the state that can assess whether a patient has EV-D68.
The NYSDOH reports that cases have occurred in Western and Central New York, the Capital Region and Long Island. Infants, children or teenagers typically become infected with the virus because they have not developed immunity from previous exposures to enteroviruses.
The first documented outbreak of the virus was from August 2014-January 2015, during which there was a total of 1,153 people in 49 states and D.C. infected.
EV-D68 is spread through close contact with an infected person or touching objects contaminated with the virus and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes. There is no specific treatment or medications for the virus, The NYSDOH recommends that individuals wash their hands often; avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and disinfect surfaces frequently.