Phyllis D. Ellis, FACHE
Director of Health
Dear Community Partners,
The rare respiratory virus known as Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, is part of the family of viruses that
includes the common cold and continues to cause severe respiratory illness in hundreds of children across
about a dozen states. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs,
sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are confirmed laboratory cases of Enterovirus D68 in Central New York and the Oneida County
Health Department and the county’s hospitals are prepared to respond if the virus presents in Oneida County.
There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68, however, there are ways to help reduce the risk of infection.
You can help protect yourself and those you serve from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds;
Avoid touching 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; and
Stay out of crowds, and home from work or school, if you feel ill.
Most children infected with this virus will appear to have a cold, with runny nose, sneezing and cough, which
will resolve itself with rest and symptom management. There are not any antiviral medications available to
treat the virus. Some children, especially those with asthma and other health problems, are at higher risk of
complications and may need to be hospitalized to receive intensive treatment of the symptoms. Since those
with asthma are higher risk for respiratory illnesses, they should regularly take prescribed medicines and
maintain control of their illness during this time, with their health care provider. They should also take
advantage of influenza vaccine since children and adults with asthma have a difficult time with respiratory
The Oneida County Health Department has formed an internal response team to monitor guidance from the
New York State Department of Health and the CDC to coordinate a response with external partners.
Surveillance activities are ongoing to identify potential outbreaks. Schools should treat this the same way
they treat flu in regards to absenteeism policies.
For additional Information, please view the CDC link www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/ev68.