Health officials in WV confirm four cases of unusual respiratory - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Health officials in WV confirm four cases of unusual respiratory illness

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(WVVA) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm there are four cases of Enterovirus EV-D68 in West Virginia. 

The virus has caused a total of 180 people to become sick in 22 states since mid-August. 

The West Virginia Office of Laboratory Services and the Charleston Area Medical Center Laboratory sent 32 samples from Calhoun, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mercer, Raleigh, Wirt, and Wood counties. Of those specimens, four have been confirmed as cases of EV-D68 in children. 

Mild symptoms of EV-D68 include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Children with a history of asthma or wheezing may experience difficulty breathing. 

“Enterovirus D68 infections are thought to be less common than other types of enteroviruses, but confirmation of the virus being found in West Virginia was not surprising,” says Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health.

EV-D68 was first identified in 1962 in California and is not frequently reported. It is also less studied than other viruses. According to the CDC, EV-D68 "spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces."

Dr. Tierney says there is no specific treatment for people with EV-D68. for mild symptoms, over-the-counter may be helpful. Severe cases may require hospitalization and intensive support therapy. There are no anti-viral medication currently available for people affected with the virus. People are also advised to practice good hygiene; wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. 

News release from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

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