The BC Centre for Disease Control has has confirmed that a young man with a prior history of severe asthma has died with laboratory-confirmed enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection . It is uncertain whether EV-D68 caused or contributed to this death. This is the first known death associated with EV-D68 in Canada. You can read more on the BCCDC’s D68 web page.
Advice for healthcare workers
Clinicians should consider EV-D68 infections in children presenting with severe respiratory illness and report any increase or unusual clusters/outbreaks of respiratory illness to their local health authority/Medical Health Officer. More severe respiratory presentations of EV-D68 may be anticipated in association with underlying comorbidity, notably a history of asthma. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for EV-D68. Clinical care is supportive.
Healthcare providers should implement routine infection control practices, including droplet and contact precautions for patients with suspected EV-D68 infection. Surfaces should be cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant with a DIN and label claim for non-enveloped viruses.
Please note: EV-D68 is not an airborne infection, so standard droplet precautions, the same as used for influenza, are sufficient to protect healthcare workers from the infection.