Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)
Enteroviruses frequently cause mild illness in the summer and fall. This year, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), is a unique virus that shares features with the common cold viruses. Most infections are mild and self-limited and will last 5 to 7 days. A small group of children and adolescents, expecially those with asthma, are experiencing more severe respiratory symptoms with wheezing and shortness of breath. Note: for most cases, a test for EV-68 is not required because it will not affect the course of the illness.
No vaccines are available for EV-68 and there are not any antiviral medications that treat this virus.
If your child has a history of asthma:
- Continue with your child's current asthma treatments
- Make sure your son/daughter has his/her inhaler and other asthma medications at all times
- If your child usually uses a controller medication (e.g an inhaled steroid) during the winter season or with colds, consider the possibility of starting the controller medication now.
- Make sure your child's teacher or caregiver knows of your child's asthma
Call 911 if your child has severe symptoms:
- Having serious trouble breathing (e.g. chest retracts or lips and/or fingers turn blue)
- is unresponsive or difficult to arouse
- Has slurred speech, paralysis, or severe headache
Make an appointment or call us if:
- Your child's cold seems severe and/or he/she is uncomfortable with their breathing
- Your child can't sleep due to the respiratory symptoms
- Your child has ear pain or other significant pain that is not relieved with pain medication
- Frequent fluids, rest and fever management.
- Frequent hand washing...cover your mouth when coughing
- Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing drinks with people who are sick.
- Disinfect surfaces in your house such as countertops and toys.