Facts about Enterovirus D68
Posted on September 22, 2014
The Plainville-Southington Health District is educating residents about enterovirus (EV-D68) and ways the public can reduce their chances of contracting the illness.
What is enterovirus? Enteroviruses generally are very common. They usually turn up as a summer cold. This particular strain, (EV-D68), spreads like the common cold through respiratory secretions, such as coughing, sneezing, or touching an infected surface. In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall.
Who is most affected? Infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with EV-D68 and become ill. That’s because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses. Children with asthma or a past history of wheezing seem to be more affected with severe illness.
Symptoms: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mild symptoms of EV-D68 can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and muscle aches.
Patients who are very ill with EV-D68 have difficulty breathing, and may or may not have fever or wheezing. Many of the children with severe illness caused by this virus have had asthma or wheezing in the past.
When to see your doctor: If your child is sick with a cold and begins having difficulty breathing, or their symptoms are getting worse, contact your health care provider right away. If your child has asthma, make sure to follow the care plan your health care provider has already outlined.
Prevention-What you can do:
• Educate yourself and your family on how to avoid becoming ill. This begins with good hand hygiene.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
• Cover your cough.
Treatment: There is not much you can do to treat EV-D68. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for EV-D68. The main kind of care is just supportive by increasing fluids. Aspirin or aspirin containing products should never be given to children with a viral illness. Pay attention to worsening symptoms and/or difficulty breathing and seek medical care right away.
In Connecticut there is one confirmed case of illness caused by EV-D68 as of September 22, 2014. With reports of similar illnesses involving children at other Connecticut hospitals, and confirmed EV-D68 cases in New York State and New Jersey, it is likely this virus is already causing respiratory illnesses in many places across Connecticut.
The Plainville-Southington Health District is concerned about your Health and Safety. If you have questions, please contact the Plainville-Southington Health District at 860-276-6275 or visit our web site at http://pshd.org.