Enterovirus D68

Lauryn Seber, Staff

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 A rare virus called Enterovirus D68, also known as Virus EV-D68, is infecting many children and sending them to the hospital all across the country. The virus doesn’t appear to be deadly, but is a severe respiratory infection. It makes it very hard to breathe, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning parents and doctors to be cautious.

Symptoms can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. From mid-August to September 24, 2014, a total of 220 children in 32 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 30 states include Colorado. The cases of EV-D68 infection were confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories who notified CDC. So far, all the cases have been children, except for one adult.

Mary Crimmins, Interim Public Information Officer for Colorado Springs School District 11 (CSSD 11), sent out a letter to all of District schools to inform staff about this virus. In the email she gave advice on how to be cautious and aware of ways to prevent infection with this virus. She states that the virus starts with a cold and it’s very concerning how quickly a child can go from not feeling well to not being able to breathe. Schools shared this information with parents.

Crimmins recommended the following preventive measures.

“- Wash hands often with soap for 20 seconds. (Happy Birthday song 3 times)

– If you sneeze or cough, do it into your elbow and turn away from those around you.

– Clean or disinfect surfaces or objects that are often touched by a lot of people.

– Avoid shaking hands, fist bumps or anything in that nature. (Some people tend to wipe their nose on the back of their hands.)

-Stay home if you don’t feel well.

-If you have any of these symptoms or think you may be getting sick then you should see your doctor or pediatrician. ”

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