CDC: Enterovirus D68

What You Need to Know About 2014 Flu Shot

The Facts About Enterovirus D68 Vaccine

As you may know, there have been sporadic cases of Enterovirus D68 reported in states across the US and it appears to have now reached New England.

The Enteroviruses are a common class of viral infections which cause a variety of illness such as “hand, foot and mouth”. This particular strain is different in that it causes cold like symptoms, but can also cause wheezing and respiratory distress. Most children who get the illness will have symptoms closer to┬áthose of a cold. The severe respiratory distress is still quite rare. Children at higher risk of lung problems with this infection are those children with asthma, lung diseases, and former premature infants. There are no antibiotics or anti-viral medicines that work for this illness, but supportive care and asthma medicines can help a great deal.

What You Can Do to Prevent Transmission:
  • WASH HANDS: Hand washing is more effective than hand sanitizer against these viruses. We recommend a 20 second hand wash with soap and water. You can use hand sanitizer additionally- it still works quite well against other germs.
  • Teach children to sneeze and cough into the elbow or shoulder but not the hand
  • Avoid contact with other children who have upper respiratory infections
  • Clean toys and shared objects
  • Avoid sharing cups and utensils.
What You Can Do to Prevent Serious Illness:
  • If your child usually uses an inhaled steroid medicine like Qvar or Flovent in the fall and winter, we recommend starting that now at his or her usual preventative dose.
What to Watch For:
If you see any of the symptoms below, please call us immediately (whether in Enterovirus season or not)
  • Non-stop coughing
  • Wheeze you can hear without a stethoscope
  • Working hard to breathe:
    • You can see the child’s nostrils flaring in and out
    • You can see the skin between the ribs or the belly sucking in and out as your child breathes
    • Your child is working hard enough to breathe that they refuse to drink/eat or cannot speak in a full sentence
  • Blueness around the lips and mouth

Here are some links to additional resources from the CDC & AAP.

Reports of a Severe Resperatory Virus on the Rise

CDC: Enterovirus D68

Graphic on What To Do To Prevent Enterovirus D68

CDC: Enterovirus D68

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