Enterovirus D68: Another Reason to Wash Your Hands Often!

EV68-infographicThis year, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is unusually prevalent. This year the number of confirmed cases is much greater than reported in previous years. In general, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become ill. That’s because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses.

According to the CDC, this is the largest outbreak ever and is causing particular problems for children with asthma. If your child is having a hard time breathing and his or her nostrils are flaring or their chest is compressing near the clavicle or under their ribs while breathing, they should be seen by a medical provider as soon as possible.

Doctors say Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or contaminated surfaces then touching the mouth, nose or eyes. Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing or if their symptoms are getting worse. Adults can get infected with enteroviruses too, but they are more likely to have no symptoms or mild symptoms.

The way to prevent getting the virus in the first place – is advice you’ve heard before – Please stay at home and don’t spread it. If you have a fever please get checked out by a physician, but other ways of prevention are washing hands, washing hands, washing hands.

There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Talk to your child’s doctor about the best way to control symptoms. Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized. There are no antiviral medications currently available for people who become infected with EV-D68.

 

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