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 For Immediate Release
September 23, 2014

Enterovirus Strain Confirmed in S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) laboratory has confirmed the first cases of the EV-D68 strain of enterovirus in two (2) residents of South Carolina's Upstate region, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported tonight.

"We requested lab support from the CDC shortly after this virus was on the rise in other parts of the country," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell. "We also asked hospitals who see a significant increase in cases of enterovirus respiratory infections or an increase in severe viral respiratory illness to notify us.

"This evening's lab confirmations serve as a reminder that there are steps you can take to protect yourself against this and other respiratory illnesses," she said.

Prevention measures include general measures to prevent viral respiratory infections, such as:

1. Good hand hygiene - Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
2. Good cough etiquette - Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
4. Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
5. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
6. Stay home from work or school if you are ill and seek consultation from a health care provider.

Additional information regarding EV-D68 can be found on the CDC's website:

http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68-states.html

*Note to reporters and editors: Due to federal privacy restrictions, DHEC is unable to provide additional information concerning the patient, including details about physical condition, possible hospitalization, age, sex and residence.

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Mark Plowden
Communications Director
mark.plowden@dhec.sc.gov
803.898.9518