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Home News NMDOH Working with CDC to Test for Enterovirus D68
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

NMDOH Working with CDC to Test for Enterovirus D68

September 11, 2014 - Epidemiology and Response - Information

Boy laying in bed hugging a teddy bear with a thermometer in his mouth.

The New Mexico Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to perform tests to determine if a hospitalized child is experiencing respiratory illness due to Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).

The Department of Health is coordinating with an Albuquerque hospital to send specimens from the case for testing by the CDC diagnostic laboratory in Atlanta.

EV-D68 is the suspected cause of several outbreaks of respiratory illness impacting children in as many as twelve states as of today. Four of those states — Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Colorado — have confirmed cases.

“Appropriate specimens are being collected to determine if Enterovirus D68 is the cause of illness in this child,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward.

According to the CDC, many hospitals can test for enteroviruses, but are not able to perform enterovirus typing. As a result, state health departments and CDC work with health care providers to coordinate testing when appropriate.

The CDC estimates that there are 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections each year in the United States. EV-D68, like other enteroviruses, appears to spread through close contact with infected people. There are no specific medicines to treat EV-D68 infections.

Infections can cause relatively mild illness that does not require hospitalization, to severe illness that may require intensive care in the hospital.

One of many non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962, but it has not been commonly reported in the United States.

The best ways to reduce the risk of getting infected include:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
  • 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
  • As with other infections, children with cold-like symptoms who have trouble breathing or otherwise seem to be very sick should seek medical care immediately.

For more information, visit the Enterovirus D68 Information page.

The Department will issue an update when it gets test results back from CDC. At this point, there is no estimated time frame for getting results back.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

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NMDOH Está Trabajando con CDC para Realizar Pruebas de Enterovirus D68