Enterovirus EV-D68

Oklahoma has seen a spike in this virus in recent years. The symptoms can range from mild to severe respiratory problems, and it’s important to tell your doctor if you experience them.

Get the facts about Enterovirus EV-D68.

What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68

Each year, millions of children catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. Enterovirus EV-D68 has seen a recent spike in its spread throughout the Midwest. Normally, enteroviruses bring on the same symptoms as the common cold, though the symptoms of EV-D68 are reported to be intensified. Get the facts about this respiratory illness below and take comfort knowing that INTEGRIS is here to help you take basic steps to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.

Symptoms

Though the virus is not well-defined, there are reports of the EV-D68 causing mild to severe respiratory illness: sneezing, a runny nose, a cough, asthma, fever, wheezing, and possible rash development. Any other signs or symptoms aren't clear at this point. EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, or no symptoms at all.

  • Mild symptoms may include runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches, and muscle aches.
  • Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

How Does It Spread?

Much like the common cold or influenza, EV-D68 is thought to spread through respiratory secretions such as saliva or nasal mucus. Coughing and sneezing will facilitate the virus's spread from person to person, as will touching contaminated surfaces.

Who Is at Risk?

The demographic most at risk is children 6 weeks to 16 years old, with very young children most frequently being the sources of the virus. Children have had the least amount of time to build up an immunity to the virus, so they are more susceptible to attracting the virus than adults.

Where Is EV-D68 Being Found?

Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have submitted assessments to CDC of activity of EV-D68-like illness. While reports of EV-D68 in Oklahoma were alive in September, it appears that Oklahoma is now showing no reports of EV-D68. Still, the threat of the enterovirus remains constant. INTEGRIS doctors are trained and experienced in the treatment of EV-D68.

History of EV-D68

EV-D68 is certainly uncommon, but it's technically not new. In 1962, EV-D68 was first identified in California and it has popped up in both the United States and around the world ever since. However, there have been fewer than 100 reported cases since its first inception.

Is This Virus a Cause for Concern?

There should always be concern when dealing with any sickness, but the rarity of EV-D68 creates uncertainty that heightens the amount of worry around this virus. Being that EV-D68 is an enterovirus, its ability to cause disease is a factor, and, as we've seen, the ability to spread quickly plays a big role in the cause for concern.

How Is EV-D68 Treated?

Unfortunately, there are no vaccines currently available for preventing EV-D68 infections. Here are a few things that you can do to help ensure that your children (and yourself) are better protected from the virus.

  • Make sure you’re washing your hands thoroughly and with soap throughout the day, especially after changing diapers, since EV-D68 can be carried in stool.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. This is an easy way to become infected.
  • Wipe down counters, toilet seats, and any other surfaces with disinfectant that could possibly be contaminated.
  • Avoid sharing food and drink with others, especially those that appear to be sick.
  • Cough hygiene: make sure you’re covering your mouth and washing your hands frequently.

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