What is EV-D68?
Enteroviruses (EV) are a very common group of viruses. They are closely related to Rhinoviruses which cause the common cold. EV-D68 is part of the enterovirus family. EV-D68 may cause more serious respiratory illnesses.
EV-D68 can be found in saliva, nasal mucus or phlegm. It is likely spread from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches surfaces with dirty hands.
The CDC recommends that testing be done only on patients who are very sick and in the hospital. Special testing is needed for EV-D68. Most hospitals cannot test for this specific virus.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms will be much like those of a mild cold. The symptoms of EV-D68 can range from mild to severe. Kids with asthma or a history of wheezing seem to be at higher risk for severe illness. EV-D68 may cause respiratory symptoms such as:
- Nasal congestion.
- Runny nose.
- Trouble breathing.
How is EV-D68 treated?
Many infections will act like a mild cold. The symptoms are normally not serious and will go away on their own without treatment.
- There is not a medication to treat an EV-D68 infection.
- If your child has asthma, use albuterol as needed if your child is wheezing or coughing.
How can the spread of EV-D68 be prevented?
Viruses are spread through close contact with infected people. It is common for illnesses to be on the rise when children are back at school. There is not a vaccine that can prevent an EV-D68 infection. It is important that parents, teachers and caregivers help prevent the spread of illnesses. They should:
- Have children wash their hands often.
- Teach children to cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze and cough.
- Avoid sending kids to school when they are sick.
- Make sure kids with asthma take their regular medicines.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)
ALERT: Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any concerns or if your child:
- Has breathing or wheezing that gets worse, even after taking medicine and the medicine has had time to work (15 minutes if inhaling a bronchodilator).
- Is dehydrated.
- Is vomiting and cannot keep down medicine or fluids.
- Has a hard time breathing such as:
– Chest or neck pulling in with each breath.
– Hunching over.
– Feeling like breathing is hard to do.
– Breathing faster and/or harder.
- Has trouble walking, talking or crying.
- Has no interest in eating, drinking, playing.
- Is having trouble sleeping.
- Has lips and/or fingernails that look dark (blue or grey).
- Has special health care needs not covered by this information.
This teaching sheet is meant to help you care for your child. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.