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New Yorkers Urged To Protect Children From Dangerous Respiratory Virus

Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is urging New Yorkers to take precautions to protect children from EV-D68.
Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is urging New Yorkers to take precautions to protect children from EV-D68. Photo Credit: NYS DOH

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The New York State Department of Health has confirmed the spread of enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) throughout New York State and is again reminding New Yorkers to take precautions to stop new infections.

Enterovirus is a very common cause of respiratory illness transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. While there are more than 100 different enteroviruses, EV-D68 is one of the less common types.

Symptoms can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body aches.

"EV-D68 has spread across the state," said acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "New Yorkers must take precautions to protect children, especially those who are immune-compromised or have asthma and other respiratory problems, from getting the virus. We will continue to work with our partners at the CDC and local health departments to ensure that all New Yorkers have the information they need to prevent infection."

There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections other than management of symptoms and there are no specific anti-viral medications currently available for this infection. It is important to take steps to protect yourself and others from the virus as you would with any other respiratory infection, including:

* Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

* Avoid touching your 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 toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

More information about enterovirus EV-D68 can be found here.

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