It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to fall leaves, pumpkins, the flu and respiratory illnesses. There have been recent news reports of respiratory illnesses affecting children and infants in various locations throughout the country.
Indications are that some children have tested positive for one type of Enterovirus (EV-D68).
Recognizing that the safety and health of everyone in our child care centers is of paramount
importance, here is what you need to know and what you can do:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Enteroviruses are relatively common and different ones appear in different seasons or years. EV-D68 is one of over 100 non-polio Enteroviruses and is most common in summer and fall.
- Teenagers, children, and infants lack the immunity many adults have from prior exposure, so are more susceptible to EV-D68.
- Most children who acquire EV-D68 experience mild to moderate cold and flu symptoms.
- Most children with these symptoms do not have EV-D68, but rather a cold or flu.
- Adults who acquire EV-D68 typically experience mild symptoms or no symptoms
- Like the cold and flu, EV-D68 is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact.
What to Look For
- Flu and cold symptoms: coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, body or muscle aches.
- Schedule a doctor visit if the symptoms worsen or if those with asthma experience trouble breathing.
What to Do for Protection and Treatment
- Use the same precautions you would for cold or flu: wash hands with soap, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and clean or disinfect surfaces.
- There is no vaccine or direct treatment for this virus. The majority of adults and children with mild or moderate symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter flu and cold medication.
Remember to avoid giving aspirin to children.
When should a child or adult be tested for EV-D68 The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) suggest testing only for those patients with severe respiratory illness when the cause is unclear because many hospitals and offices cannot detect for EV-D68.