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.
With a change in weather, we tend to see a rise in spring colds. Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year and children have even more. Starting with a sore throat, combined with a runny nose are often the first signs of a cold. Then coughing and sneezing. Individuals generally recover in seven to ten days, however people with weakened immune systems, asthma, or respiratory conditions may develop serious illness, such as pneumonia. You can take a few simple steps to reduce getting a cold, including:
- Wash your hands! And wash them often. Washing with soap and water for 20 seconds can help you prevent getting sick, and if you are already sick, can prevent the spread of the virus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands - many times viruses enter the body this way and will make you sick
- Stay away from those around you who are sick. If you have even the slightest decrease if your immune system, being around someone that is sick can increase your chances of getting sick