You’ve probably heard news stories about Enterovirus D68, a virus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness. The CDC says that anyone with respiratory illness, especially children with asthma, should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing.
Two cases in Alameda County have been confirmed to date. The Public Health Department is working with local hospitals to identify and conduct testing on children hospitalized with serious respiratory infections. Enterovirus D68 causes symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of a cold or flu, such as cough, sneezing, runny nose, body aches, or fever, but in this outbreak, many children do NOT have a fever.
Enterovirus D68 is thought to spread from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or contaminates a surface with their respiratory secretions. Enteroviruses can also be spread in the stool. Hand hygiene with soap and water is preferred as alcohol-based hand sanitizers have limited effectiveness against enteroviruses.