IDPH News Release: Late Summer Virus Causing Illness in Iowa
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced a virus that has caused outbreaks in Illinois, Ohio, Kansas and other states is also causing illness in Iowa. Enterovirus EV-D68, like other enteroviruses, appears to spread through close contact with infected people. Enteroviruses, including EV-D68, are not a reportable disease in Iowa or the U.S.; therefore, the number of cases of the virus is not tracked.
EV-D68 often begins like a cold and symptoms include coughing and wheezing; most people will recover at home without complications however, some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy. Infants, children, and teenagers, especially those with a history of asthma or those who have a condition that compromises their immune system, are most likely to become severely ill. Parents of children with cold-like symptoms that experience difficulty breathing should contact their health care provider.
There are currently no medications available for treatment for EV-D68 infections and there is no vaccine available for the virus. Most infections resolve on their own and require only treatment at home:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Stay home so you do not spread the virus to others.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces to stop the spread the spread of the virus at home.
To help reduce the risk of getting infected with EV-D68:
- 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.
Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year, usually in the summer and fall.