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Press Release

First Case of Enterovirus-D68 Reported in Contra Costa County

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Media Availability: Erika Jenssen, Communicable Disease Programs Chief with Contra Costa Health Services’ Public Health Division, will be available for interviews today from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

MARTINEZ – Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) confirmed today that a county resident was diagnosed with enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68), a virus that causes respiratory illness.

The case was confirmed through laboratory testing. The case involves a person under the age of 18 who was hospitalized but has since recovered from the disease. No other information will be released about the case.

CCHS has been working closely with the California Department of Public Health, neighboring public health agencies and local medical providers to monitor the spread of EV-D68 and ensure that residents have the information they need to prevent the disease and recognize its symptoms. Health Services will also be distributing information to schools regarding prevention of EV-D68.

Enteroviruses are a very common kind of virus, with more than 100 different species identified. This enterovirus, EV-D68, has been reported across the United States in 2014, including several Bay Area counties.

“This virus is circulating, and it is important for people to take some simple precautions to keep themselves healthy, said Erika Jenssen, Communicable Disease Programs Chief for CCHS’s Public Health Division. “Washing hands with soap and water, making sure children stay home from school if they are sick, and avoiding close contact with sick people are all ways we can reduce our chances of spreading EV-D68.”

For most people, the symptoms are mild and may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough and body aches. Severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Children and teenagers are most likely to become ill from EV-D68, and children with asthma may have more serious disease. Adults can also become infected, but are more likely to have no symptoms or mild symptoms.

There is no vaccine for EV-D68 or specific treatment, other than management of symptoms. It is important to take precautions to avoid infection.

  • Wash hands with soap frequently, including after using the restroom. Alcohol-based hand cleaners do not kill enteroviruses.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Disinfect often-touched surfaces, such as toys and door handles, especially if someone is sick.

More information about EV-D68 can be found at

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Press Contact
  • Victoria Balladares,