Don’t Panic about the EV-D68 Virus….But Wash Those Hands!
This is the best way to prevent the enterovirus EV-D68 or ANY illness!
We in the Midwest are hearing about an outbreak of an illness that is hitting children hard. Many children have been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms from this enterovirus EV-D68. This group of viruses can cause many different illnesses, but this particular strain is not very common and has many parents worried. It is hard NOT to be worried when the news is sending out the alarm! Remember, fear does nothing….but there are some things we can do to protect our children from any illness.
Any age group can be affected by this group of viruses, and most people infected will experience mild cold like symptoms. This specific type of enterovirus has been most severe in children with a history of asthma or past wheezing. There is no medicine or shot to cure or prevent the virus. Children will need supportive care for the symptoms. Children who are wheezing, very ill, or have any difficulty breathing should see their health care provider. Children with asthma must follow their asthma action plans and contact their doctors if they are in yellow or red zones on their plan.
Just like other common viral illnesses, this enterovirus is spread by close contact with an ill person. Good hand washing and wiping down commonly touched objects or surfaces is important. To prevent any illness we all should remember to:
- Wash our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after using the rest room or changing diapers
- Avoid touching our eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands
- Clean frequently touched things like toys, doorknobs, light switches and bathrooms
- Avoid hugging, kissing, and sharing cups with people who are ill
- Stay home and keep your children home when sick
- Don’t forget to get your yearly flu vaccine…it will not prevent this illness but it will help prevent the upcoming influenza virus!
There is no need to panic as parents! Good common sense and preventive measures will help stop the spread of any illness. Contact your child’s doctor if you have any questions. Most importantly….get the soap out and wash those hands!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.