A state health official says Iowa has not seen any big changes involving the outbreak of a virus that has hit over one dozen states. Deputy State Epidemiologist, Ann Garvey, says the enterovirus is common this time of year, but this particular strain known as D-68 has caused concern in other states.
“Here in Iowa we know that this strain is circulating — we are hearing about respiratory illnesses across the state — but we are not hearing that any of our health care community is overwhelmed with cases, unable to meet patient need,” Garvey explains. “While it’s circulating we’re not seeing the numbers that some of our neighboring states are seeing.”
Enterovirus is not a disease that the state or federal health officials track, so Garvey says they don’t have a concrete set up numbers on the cases. “We’re still getting calls from health care providers, just anecdotally we’re hearing some of the health care providers are seeing the cases slow. But that’s just few of the locations that we’ve spoke to,” Garvey says.
Garvey says the impact of viruses is always hard to determine, and this one is no different. “As far as why we are having less activity, there’s not a way to predict that or tell you why. We’re just not seeing it,” Garvey says.
There is no treatment for enterovirus other than rest. “So we’re just trying to recommend that Iowans take those kind of common sense measures that we use with all respiratory viruses like influenza,” Garvey says. “Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, get plenty of rest, and if we are ill, stay home.”
Garvey says most people who come down with the virus will not have serious symptoms.