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What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus

Posted by Alan on September 8, 2014 3:27 PM | (Not Filed) |

sick.pngHundreds of children across the U.S. have been hospitalized with a serious respiratory illness. Scientists believe the bug to blame is Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). Enteroviruses are common but, this particular type and severity is not. Here is what you need to know:

What are the symptoms?
The virus usually starts like the common cold: symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and cough. This is all that happens for most people who catch an enterovirus. But some patients will get a severe cough, have difficulty breathing (sometimes with wheezing), and/or develop a rash.

So, when should I begin to worry?
Unfortunately, in the beginning it's difficult to tell the difference between a regular cold and this type of virus. However, if your child becomes sick, be watching for certain symptoms. Go to the doctor if your child develops a fever or a rash. Infants, children, and teens are more likely to become sick because they have not built up immunity from previous exposures. Children with asthma or a history of breathing problems are particularly susceptible for severe symptoms.

How do I protect my children?
The respiratory illness spreads through close contact, just like the common cold. You can also be infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them and then touching your face. Health officials say there is not a great deal you can do beyond taking common-sense steps to reduce the risk. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, clean and disinfect surfaces that are regularly touched by different people (toys, phones, and door knobs), avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose, and stay home or keep your child home if you or your child feel unwell.

Click here for more information from the Centers for Disease Control.

Together, we can keep our kids safe and healthy!