State's 1st confirmed case of enterovirus D68 was in Maricopa County

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services said the state's first case of enterovirus D68 was in Maricopa County.

"This first case of EV-D68 is in a child with a history of asthma who has recovered from the illness," said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for the Disease Control Division at Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

The sample that tested positive for the D68 strain is one of 27 samples from Arizona that had been tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Wednesday. They have been collected since Aug. 5.

Six samples tested positive for rhinovirus and another six tested positive for both rhinovirus and enterovirus, but not the D68 strain, which can cause severe respiratory illness, particularly in children. The remaining 14 samples tested negative.

There are still 17 samples pending.

The virus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches contaminated surfaces.

Symptoms include runny noses, sneezing, coughing, and body and muscle aches. Parents should seek medical attention immediately for children who are having any breathing difficulty or wheezing, particularly if the child suffers from asthma.

Sunenshine said parents should remind their kids to take basic steps to protect themselves and other children. Those include washing hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, staying home when sick and covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow.

More information on EV-D68 can be found at cdc.gov.