"Practicing good hygiene is critical to reducing the spread of this virus, which mostly impacts children"
*AUGUSTA* - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention today received confirmation from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late on Tuesday that a Maine child from York County tested positive for the enterovirus D68 infection. The child, who was initially hospitalized, has returned home and is doing well.
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) may initially look like the common cold. It sometimes causes a fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough and muscle aches. The more severe cases across the country have caused difficulty in breathing and/or wheezing in children with a history of respiratory problems. There is no vaccine for EV-D68, it is highly contagious, and children with asthma seem to be at higher risk.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Sheila Pinette cautions parents to act quickly if changes in a child's health rapidly appear.
"If a child experiences a significant change in his or her health that features some of these known symptoms, he or she should be taken to the hospital right away, as this could represent EV-D68,'' Dr. Pinette said.
To prevent the spread of EV-D68, frequent hand washing and coughing or sneezing into the elbow area to prevent mucus spray is recommended. Loved ones should avoid kissing and commonly used areas, like tables, counters and doorknobs should be disinfected. In addition, children and adults who have cold-like symptoms should stay home.
"As is the case with the common cold, the best protection against EV-D68 is good hygiene,'' said Dr. Pinette.