Information on Enterovirus

Hoboken, NJ - Friday, October 24th, 2014


According to the CDC, every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. There are more than 100 kinds of non-polio enteroviruses which are very common and can infect anyone. Most people who get infected with these viruses do not get sick or have mild illness, like the common cold. But some people can get very sick and have infection of their heart or brain or even become paralyzed. Infants and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of having these complications. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in children across the country is enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68).

There are no known confirmed cases of EV-D68 in Hoboken at this time.

On Friday, October 24 the Brandt School in Hoboken sent parents a letter notifying them that a student was diagnosed with an enterovirus infection. There was no test conducted to confirm the diagnosis nor is it known which of the 100+ strains of Enterovirus the child had. Many hospitals and some doctor’s offices can test ill patients to see if they have enterovirus infection. However, most cannot do specific testing to determine the type of enterovirus, like EV-D68. Only the CDC and some state health departments can do this sort of testing, and CDC recommends that clinicians only consider EV-D68 testing for patients with severe respiratory illness and when the cause is unclear. According to the school, the student is being cared for at home, has not required hospitalization or lab testing for EV-D68, and has not been in school since Monday, October 20, 2014.

The City of Hoboken Health Department has provided the school with all necessary guidance, including heightened sanitation and disinfection practices, and will continue to coordinate with schools to provide information as needed. The school is scheduled for an inspection by the Hoboken Health Officer on Saturday, October 25 to ensure that all proper practices are being followed.

You can help prevent yourself from getting and spreading EV-D68 and other respiratory illnesses by following these steps:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

The CDC has a variety of resources with additional information about EV-D68:

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