INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials announced today that four Lake County children have been confirmed as having had enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a respiratory illness which can be serious in individuals with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma. The individuals were treated at University of Chicago Hospital and were previously thought to be residents of Illinois. All four children have been discharged from the hospital.
The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and hospitals to conduct surveillance for additional cases of EV-D68. Testing for EV-D68 is being conducted at the State Laboratory. On Tuesday, the State health officials announced a higher than expected level of respiratory illness statewide for this time of year.
Indiana joins several other states in this multi-state outbreak, including Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and others. Enteroviruses are very common, with between 10 to 15 million cases occurring in the United States each year. There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses.
Typically, EV-D68 causes upper respiratory illness, such as low-grade fever, cough, runny nose, sneezing and body/muscle aches. Infected individuals generally recover on their own without incident by treating symptoms. However, some individuals, especially those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, may experience severe complications and require hospitalization with supportive therapy.
Enteroviruses, including EV-D68, are spread through close contact with infected people. Health officials recommend the following tips to prevent the spread of infection:
- Clean: Wash your hands frequently with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not effective in preventing the spread of EV-D68.
- Cover: Cover your cough with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Contain: Prevent spreading illness to others by staying home if you are sick.
- Avoid close contact and sharing cups or eating utensils with those who are ill.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Individuals experiencing cold-like symptoms and trouble breathing should contact their healthcare provider right away.
Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.