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EV-D68, Or What is Making Kids Sick!

The news that interests me today is the Enterovirus EV-D68, or whatever the heck kids are showing up in hospitals with across the midsection and south of the country.

It is apparently a non-polio virus, but it may have neurological problems associated with it.  It causes severe cold like symptoms, particularly in young children.  It seems to start out as a cold, but then children get high fevers and they have difficulty breathing which explains why children are showing up at hospitals.  

So what can you do about it?  Well? Nothing.  If it comes around to these parts, which it certainly may, parents and caregivers are going to have to watch out for colds that appear to get worse.  If your child exhibits cold symptoms and then becomes feverish, or has trouble breathing then call your health care practitioner!

Here is some information from the CDC–

For General Public

Symptoms

  • EV-D68 has been reported to cause mild to severe respiratory illness. However, the full spectrum of EV-D68 illness is not well-defined.

Transmission

  • EV-D68 is not frequently identified, so it is less studied and the ways it spreads are not as well-understood as other enteroviruses. EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.

Treatment

  • There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections.
    • Many infections will be mild and self-limited, requiring only treatment of the symptoms.
    • Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy.
  • No antiviral medications are currently available for treating of EV-D68 infections.

Prevention

  • There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.
  • You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
    • 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
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