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Facts About...

ENTEROVIRUS EV-D68


What is it?

Enteroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms – from no symptoms at all, to mild cold-like symptoms, to illnesses with fever and rashes, to neurologic problems. Infections with enteroviruses are very common and most people have mild symptoms. There are about 100 types of enteroviruses. EV-D68 is a specific type of enterovirus that causes respiratory illness ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms can include a cold-like illness with coughing and wheezing. Children with asthma seem to have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

How is it spread?

EV-D68 virus can be found in saliva, nose and throat secretions and spread to others when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that is then touched by others. Touching objects or surfaces contaminated with these secretions can pick up the virus on hands which can enter the body when someone touches their mouth, nose, or eyes.

What do I look for?

Signs and symptoms can be mild and include runny nose, fever, cough, sneezing, body and muscle aches. More severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

How is it treated?

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for EV-D68. Most people do not require any treatment and will get better on their own. Mild pain and fever may be managed with over the counter medication (aspirin should be avoided in children) under the supervision of a doctor/health care provider. Some people with severe respiratory illness or worsening of symptoms may require hospitalization.

How can I protect myself?

October 6, 2014