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Enterovirus cases confirmed in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY — Health officials confirmed 12 cases of the enterovirus D68 in Utah Tuesday.

Twelve samples of the 22 sent from Primary Children’s Hospital to the Centers of Disease Control tested positive for the non-polio enterovirus, the Utah Department of Health said. The virus is an uncommon strain of a very common family of viruses associated with symptoms like a fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and aches, as well as mouth blisters and skin rash. It can lead to viral conjunctivitis, hand, foot and mouth disease and viral meningitis, according to the CDC.

“In addition to the 12 positive samples, Primary Children’s had 37 rhino/enterovirus positive admissions in the past week, and 10 of those were admitted to the pediatric ICU,” Dr. Andrew Pavia, the hospital’s division chief of pediatric infectious diseases said in a release. “The rate of increase may be slowing but we don’t think we have passed the peak of the outbreak.”

The virus has been confirmed in 30 states, and the CDC expected to confirm cases in other states in the upcoming weeks, as samples were tested. All but one of the 213 confirmed cases were children, the center said.

Officials reminded people to wash their hands, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and avoiding close personal contact with sick individuals.

There is no specific treatment or anti-viral medication for EV-D68 currently, the Utah Department of Health said.

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Celeste Tholen Rosenlof

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