AFM, a very rare complication associated with EV-D68 – one of hundreds of non-polio enteroviruses that cause common infections such as colds, diarrhea, hand, foot and mouth disease among a few — has been reported in NY. These viruses are seen in small numbers in the late summer and fall. Although EV-D68 has been detected in some patients with AFM, it is not present in every case.
Enteroviruses are transmitted by airborne droplets (sneezes, coughs) from infected individuals. Avoiding contact with ill individuals is the best, but often difficult, preventive measure. Routine hygiene like good hand washing, disinfecting toys and surfaces, and not sharing utensils or food is important in preventing the spread of any respiratory infection, including influenza.