What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68
Enterovirus D68. Ever heard of it? Most people haven’t, but it’s something you need to be aware of as a parent. According to the CDC, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses every year. Enteroviruses can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. These viruses most often spread in the summer and fall.
Enterovirus D68 is one of many enteroviruses that can make people sick and happens to be on the rise. Take the basic steps to protect your child and others from it.
Because they may not have been exposed to these types of viruses before and may not yet have immunity (protection) built up, infants, children, and teenagers are at higher risk than adults for getting infected and sick with enteroviruses like enterovirus D68.
If your child has asthma, he or she may be at greater risk for severe respiratory illness from enterovirus D68. Most of the cases were among children, many who had asthma or a history of wheezing. Enterovirus D68 is not a new, but seems to be on the rise and activity varies from year to year. Better lab testing has led to easier detection over the years.
Know the Symptoms of Enterovirus D68
Learn about the signs and symptoms of this virus, including the mild and severe symptoms below:
Mild symptoms may include:
- runny nose
- body and muscle aches
Severe symptoms may include:
- difficulty breathing
It’s very important to call your doctor if your child is having difficulty breathing. If you feel you are unable to control symptoms, or if symptoms are getting worse, your child may need to be hospitalized if he or she develops severe illness.
Help Protect Your Family from Enterovirus D68
To help avoid catching and spreading this virus, parents and children should always follow these 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 for this virus and other viruses.
- 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.
Think this could be a virus your child is experiencing (especially if they have asthma) or want to learn more about it? Call your doctor and learn more.Tags: asthma, breathing, Enterovirus D68, kids and viruses, virus