Health officials: Enterovirus D68 has likely spread into Utah

Posted at 12:32 PM, Sep 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-10 23:44:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY - A viral outbreak that has made its way across many states appears to have arrived in Utah.

We are talking about Enterovirus D68 or EV-D68.

Health officials at Primary Children's Medical Center said they have seen an obvious increase in young patients coming in with respiratory issues.

Some have been hospitalized and even put in intensive care.

The good news is, all of the children are responding well to treatment and no one has died from the virus.

Dr. Andrew Pavia heads up epidemiology at Primary Children's and said they have seen almost 100 cases that have the symptoms of Enterovirus D68 over the last two weeks.

The hospital has sent samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and should have the results in the next two days.

Officials said the tests are more about understanding how the virus spreads; treating it is the same as treating any respiratory virus.

If a child is having trouble breathing, take them to the hospital.

If they just have the symptoms of a cold, treat it like you would a cold.

Doctors said the flu season is actually far more dangerous even through the Enterovirus D68 outbreak is abnormally large.

Trouble breathing and wheezing are signs parents should watch for in their children.

Health officials said they are currently treating the hospital like it's flu season.

The strict winter visiting policy is in effect to try to keep more infection out of the hospital.

So how do you avoid getting Enterovirus D68?

Practice good hygiene like you would during cold and flu season.

Wash your hands, don't kiss or share food with anyone who is ill and wash items your children bring to and from school.