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How to protect yourself and your family from enterovirus

PHOENIX — A day after the Centers for Disease Control confirmed Arizona’s first case of enterovirus D68, Maricopa County health officials are urging people to watch out for its symptoms and take precautions.

Arizona had previously been one of only four states without a confirmed case, but the virus was confirmed by the CDC on Wednesday.

Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control at Maricopa County Public Health, said despite Arizona having its first confirmed case, she believes the virus has been in the state for some time.

“It has probably been here and it probably has been spreading … now we just have confirmed the first case,” she said.

Currently there are still 17 more samples from Arizona waiting test results by the CDC.

The respiratory illness poses strong risks to children and Sunenshine said it’s important for people to be on the lookout it.

“We need to continue to look out for this disease, especially in our kids with asthma and any child that present with an unexplained viral illness and wheezing or difficulty breathing,” she said.

Common symptoms of enterovirus D68 include fever, respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and runny nose, according to the CDC.

Sunenshine said enterovirus spread similarly to the flu and people should take the following precautions to lessen their chances of contracting it.

Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing