California officials report 32 enterovirus cases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California health officials said Friday that they have confirmed 32 cases of a virus that can cause serious respiratory illness – more than double the figure from a week earlier.

However, the state Department of Public Health said there doesn’t appear to be any outbreak of enterovirus D68, which has sickened hundreds and possibly caused several deaths around the country.

Respiratory illness figures in the state are normal for this time of year, the agency said in a statement.

Eight cases of enterovirus D68 were reported in San Diego County, five in Alameda County and four in Los Angeles County, the agency said.

There were three cases reported in Orange County and San Francisco County, two in Riverside County, one each in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Ventura counties, and one each in the cities of Long Beach and Berkeley, the public health department said.

All of the confirmed cases involve children, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The three patients in Orange County are unrelated and “are not linked with any community outbreak of the illness,” according to a statement from the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Reports of enterovirus cases around the country have led to heightened awareness and surveillance for the virus, Dr. Eric Handler, the county’s public health officer, said in the statement.

Enterovirus D68 can cause flu-like symptoms and respiratory problems, sometimes serious. The virus can be spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with contaminated surfaces.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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