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Health officials confirm first Mississippi case of EV-D68

The first case of Enterovirus D68 in Mississippi was confirmed this week by the Mississippi State Department of Health. The Hancock County child was hospitalized and has since recovered.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines EV-D68 as a non-polio enterovirus that was first identified in California in 1962. Since August, there have been about 213 confirmed cases in 30 states. The virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, according to the CDC website.

Symptoms include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough and body and muscle aches.

The virus is found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus or sputum, the website states. There are no specific treatments. However, mild symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. In severe cases, infected individuals are hospitalized.

The CDC recommends the use of the following preventative measures:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Refrain from kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
  • People with asthma are at a higher risk for respiratory illness and should take their medications regularly.

For more information about EV-D69 and other viruses, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov and the Mississippi State Department of Health website at www.msdh.ms.gov.