A Re-Emerging Threat: Enterovirus D68 and its Impact on Children

A Re-Emerging Threat: Enterovirus D68 and its Impact on Children

A Virus Affecting Kids Re-Emerges: Enterovirus D68

What is Enterovirus D68?

Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68 for short, is a virus that primarily affects children under the age of 18. It was first identified in California in 1962, but it gained widespread attention in 2014 when there was a significant outbreak in the United States.

How is Enterovirus D68 Transmitted?

EV-D68 is primarily spread through respiratory secretions, such as coughing and sneezing. It can also be spread by touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them and then touching the mouth, eyes, or nose.

Symptoms of Enterovirus D68

The symptoms of EV-D68 are similar to those of the common cold, including:

– Runny nose
– Sneezing
– Cough
– Fever
– Body aches

However, in severe cases, EV-D68 can cause wheezing and difficulty breathing, particularly in children with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Prevention and Treatment

As with many viral infections, the best way to prevent the spread of EV-D68 is through good hygiene practices, such as:

– Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
– Covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or elbow
– Avoiding close contact with sick individuals

There is currently no specific antiviral treatment for EV-D68. Most cases can be managed with over-the-counter medication to alleviate symptoms and plenty of rest and fluids. However, if a child develops severe respiratory symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.

Why is Enterovirus D68 a Concern?

EV-D68 is a concern because it primarily affects children and can cause severe respiratory symptoms. In some cases, it has resulted in hospitalization and even death. The virus is more common during late summer and early fall, which is why it is important to be vigilant during those times and take necessary precautions.

Tips and Tricks:

– Keep your child’s immune system strong by ensuring they get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and engage in regular physical activity.
– Teach your child proper hygiene habits, such as washing hands frequently and avoiding touching their face.
– Consider getting a flu vaccine for your child each year, as respiratory infections can increase the risk of complications from EV-D68.

My 2 Cents

Enterovirus D68 is not a new virus, but it is important to stay informed about its re-emergence as it can cause severe illness in children. By practicing good hygiene habits and taking necessary precautions, we can minimize the spread of the virus and protect our children’s health. Remember to teach your child the importance of hand hygiene and help them develop healthy habits. Stay vigilant and stay educated to keep your family safe.