The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said 32 patients in the state had enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) as of Friday, which represents approximately 20 percent of California's reported cases of respiratory disease activity.
The number of EV-D68 cases in the state is falling compared to other respiratory disease activity, dropping from 25 to 30 percent of total respiratory cases in recent weeks.
Outpatient reports of respiratory illness in California are low overall, which is normal for this time of year. In each case, the patients had symptoms that continued through late September.
EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus spreads from person to person through coughs, sneezes or touching a contaminated surface. Symptoms of EV-D68 can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches and muscle aches.
Health care providers should consider EV-D68 as a possible cause of unexplained severe respiratory illness, even if the patient does not have a fever, and should contact their local health departments to report cases of acute flaccid paralysis with spinal cord involvement and test those patients for possible enterovirus infection.
The best way to prevent transmission of EV-D68 is to 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; and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.