Should We Be Worried About Enterovirus D68? Back to School officially arrived and along with it came the threat of illness in our children. This year, we are faced with a more concerning virus on the horizon? Or is it? With more and more social media posting fearful commentary about this virus, we felt it was time to address it and the issues it presents.
SHOULD WE BE WORRIED ABOUT ENTEROVIRUS D68?
The Facts About The Virus:
Enterovirus has been around for many years. This is not the first time it has showed up on the medical radar, as it is common to find children falling ill with this upper respiratory virus at the beginning of a school year. This strand however seems to be more aggressive than others. While the average healthy child will feel no more than a bit higher fever and longer duration of their “cold”, those with autoimmune disorders, asthma or other respiratory conditions may be adversely affected and hospitalized due to Enterovirus D68.
Who Should Be Concerned?
- Auto Immune Disease Sufferers
- Those with severe allergies that often result in respiratory issues
- Asthma patients
- The Elderly or any person with a weaker immune system
- Those working in childcare, education or other common public places who will come in contact with potential carriers or victims.
How Can We Protect Ourselves?
While Enterovirus D68 has spread considerably faster this year than expected, there are still only basic precautions to take for prevention. There is no vaccine for this virus, and as is commonplace with viral issues, there is no antibiotic or treatment for it. Take simple steps for prevention and treatment, but always stay aware and make sure you consult a physician of symptoms worsen.
- Avoid contact of face, mouth, eyes or bodily functions from infected individuals.
- Wash hands routinely for at least 20 seconds with water and soap. Scrub hands well and make sure to get in between fingers and check under fingernails.
- Don’t share food, cups or toothbrushes for any reason
- Stay well hydrated whether you have the virus or are trying to prevent it
- Take a daily vitamin and increase vitamin c intake
While this virus is something to be concerned about, it is no more serious than the annual influenza issues we frequently have. Being more diligent about cleanliness and making sure your kids are educated on not sharing foods, washing hands and not putting their hands in their mouths will go a long way toward staying safe. If you or your child have auto immune issues, asthma or a tendency for upper respiratory issues be watchful. Make sure to watch their breathing and at the signs of any issues, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.
In answer to the question, Should We Be Worried About Enterovirus D68, the answer is no more than you would be the flu, Enterovirus or other highly contagious virus. Take precautions and be aware, and you will likely have no ill effects should this virus hit your area.
Have you dealt with Enterovirus D68 in your family?