What Is Enterovirus-D68 and How Can I Protect My Family?

by SKHC Editor on October 17, 2014

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962.  Every year millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses, usually during summer and fall, however this year hospitals have been seeing more children with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 since mid-August.

Infants, children, and teenagers are at higher risk than adults for getting infected and sick with enteroviruses like EV-D68.  Due to their age they have not been exposed to these types of viruses before, and they do not yet have immunity built up to fight the disease.  Children with asthma may be at a greater risk for severe respiratory illness from EV-D68.

Mild symptoms of EV-D68 may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.  Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.  There is no specific treatment for EV-D68.  You can protect your family in avoiding catching and spreading EV-D68 by following some basic steps to stay healthy.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school.

Source: cdc.gov

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