EV-D68 is one of more than 100 types of enteroviruses that cause 10 to 15 million infections annually in the United States, though EV-D68 is less common than other types. The virus can cause severe respiratory illness in children and others. Children with asthma seem to be especially susceptible.
Who can get infected with enteroviruses?
Anyone is susceptible to becoming infected with enteroviruses. However, infants, children and teens are more likely to become ill because they have yet to build up immunity to such viruses. In some states, children with asthma seem to be at higher risk for developing severe symptoms, as do people with chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.
What are the symptoms of EV-D68?
The symptoms of mild cases include: runny nose, sneezing, coughs, body aches, fever, rashes and mouth blisters. It is often difficult to tell the difference between the common cold and EV-D68, as the symptoms are so similar. Parents should contact their family physician with concerns, if children have difficulty breathing or if symptoms become severe.
How does the virus spread?
Enteroviruses are spread through close contact with someone who is infected — for example, by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
How can I protect myself?
You can help protect yourself from EV-D68 (and other viral infections) by:
- Frequently and thoroughly washing your hands, especially after changing diapers;
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Refraining from kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are ill;
- Disinfecting surfaces that are touched frequently, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
What are the treatments for EV-D68?
There are no specific treatments for EV-D68 or any vaccines to prevent EV-D68-related illnesses. According to the CDC, many infections are mild and require only treating the symptoms. People who have severe respiratory illnesses caused by EV-D68 may need hospitalization.
How can I get more information?
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