There’s a good chance you’ve heard about Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, a rare virus similar to the common cold that is infecting U.S. children across the Midwest. Here’s what you need to know about this virus:
What is it?
EV-D68 is an infection that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. The virus can be found in saliva, nasal mucus and sputum. It is spread from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches contaminated surfaces. Washing hands can help reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus.
Who is at risk?
Infants, children and teenagers are most likely to get infected because they do not have immunity from previous exposures to this virus. Children with asthma have a higher risk for respiratory illness and should take all of their regularly prescribed medication and have rescue medications on hand. Infections are more common in the summer and fall months.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of EV-D68 infection aren’t much different than common respiratory viruses like influenza or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
• Runny nose
• Shortness of breath
• Body and muscle aches
Severe symptoms may include wheezing or difficulty breathing. If at any time your child is having difficulty breathing, has blue lips or is gasping for air, please seek immediate medical attention.
What are the treatments?
There is no specific treatment for people infected with EV-D68. Over-the-counter medications will help relieve some of the mild respiratory symptoms mentioned above. Aspirin should not be given to children.
What can be done to prevent contraction of EV-D68?
You can help stop potential outbreaks/infections by following these prevention tips: Continue Reading »