The New York State Department of Health is warning parents about a serious respiratory virus with no vaccine that is hit the Empire State. So far there are 39 known cases in Central and Western New York, Long Island, and the Albany area.

The virus is called EV-D68. It can cause mild to severe respiratory illness sometimes with no symptoms at all. Some of the symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sneezing, body and muscle aches, and severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

The Department of Health quoted New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker as saying, "all parents must take simple steps to protect their children, especially those who are immune compromised or have respiratory problems, to avoid being infected".

The New York State Department of Health Website states that enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces which are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes.

A couple of things you can do to protect yourself from these viruses is to wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, avoid kissing hugging or sharing utensils or cups with those who are infected, disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs especially if someone is sick, and to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

To find out more about this virus and more ways to protect yourself and your children against it, visit the New York State Department of Health Website here.

[via New York State Department of Health]