Orlando radio personality reports first case of enterovirus in Orange Co.

WDBO's Joe Kelley shares diagnosis in blog post on station's website

ORLANDO, Fla. – WDBO radio personality Joe Kelley says he's the first person in Orange County to come down with the potentially deadly enterovirus D68.

Kelley shared his diagnosis in a blog post on his station's website. In the post he wrote, "I can now officially confirm that I am 'unofficially' the first person in Orange County stricken with enterovirus D68."

Kelley explains that he used the word "unofficially" because a hospital test confirmed he had the virus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not test or confirm adult cases.

The virus has swept across almost the entire country sickening hundreds, according to the CDC. It spreads easily and can be passed through coughs, sneezes and contact with surfaces someone with the virus has touched. EV-D68 causes flu-like symptoms and severe respiratory illness.

According to the CDC, children and teens are especially at risk along with anyone with asthma or existing respiratory issues.

Kelley has shared updates and photos on his Facebook page since he was admitted to the hospital last Friday. He's posted pictures of his nursing staff and shared that he's being treated in isolation. He wrote his fever broke several days after he was admitted, but "the bloodcurdling-coughing and associated pain continues to this day, a full eight days later."

Sunday night in a Facebook post, Kelley shared some encouraging news.

"It's Day 9 in the EV-D68 hospital isolation ward. Three nurses just walked into my room in full biohazard gear and told me I'd be changing rooms tonight. I'll still be in 'isolation,' but in a different room. I'm certain I'll be discharged by tomorrow," Kelley wrote.

WDBO said no other employees have come forward with symptoms.

"(Kelley) called overnight, called me in the middle of the night and said, 'I can't make it into work today, I have 102- degree fever.  I'm going right to the hospital,'" said Drew Anderssen, program director at WDBO News 96.5.

Anderssen said the station is taking precautions.

"We purchased more Lysol.  Obviously, that was No. 1.  Do a complete, thorough disinfectant of all of our studios.  We did do more hand santizer,  the common things that you would think would kill a typical virus is what we tried to put in place here," he said. 

Kelley could be the third case of enterovirus in the state, but officials with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said his case has not been reported to them.

Officials said a child in Polk County and another in Escambia County developed the virus. Medical experts said the best way to stay protected is to wash hands frequently.