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
- difficulty breathing
- 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.
Asthma affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases in children, but affects adults as well. With symptoms such as breathlessness, chest tightening, wheezing, and coughing at night, early morning, or in the cold air, asthma attacks generally only happen when the lungs become bothered. Studies have uncovered very few causes of asthma, but in some cases it has been linked to genetic traits. Often if one family member has it, someone else in the family is more than likely to have it as well. When diagnosing asthma, your physician will check your lungs for allergies, chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. They will generally also do a breathing test called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working. If having an asthma attack, you may experience chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your body’s airways causing a loss of air to your lungs. During the attack lungs swell and airways shrink decreasing the amount of air that is reaching the lungs, which also causes mucus to clog the airways even more. Have additional questions about asthma and how to control it? Ask your physician for more information.
May is Asthma Awareness Month. If you or a loved one is an asthma sufferer, you know the importance to treating this life-threatening disease. Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. There are roughly 25.5 million Americans living with asthma, a disease affecting the lungs, causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Although asthma is incurable, it is possible and relatively easy to manage asthma successfully to reduce and prevent attacks. Successful management include knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack and avoiding elements that may trigger it. Speak to us today if you think you may have asthma or would like more information about asthma.