Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is not a new virus, but it has been getting more people sick this year. Children are at higher risk, because they may not have been exposed to this virus yet and do not have immunity built up against it. Children with asthma may have greater risk of developing a more severe respiratory illness from the virus.
Signs of symptoms of EV-D68
Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.
Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Call immediately if your child develops difficulty breathing or if after 5 days your child is getting worse rather than better.
How to stay healthy (from the CDC website)
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school.
If your child has asthma
- Discuss and update your child’s asthma action plan with his or her doctor.
- Make sure your child takes his or her prescribed asthma medications as directed, especially long-term control medication(s).
- Make sure your child knows to keep asthma reliever medication with him or her or has access to it at all times.
- Get your child a flu vaccine, since flu and other respiratory infections can trigger an asthma attack.
- If your child develops new or worsening asthma symptoms, follow the steps of his or her asthma action plan. If symptoms do not go away, call your child’s doctor right away.
- Make sure caregiver(s) and/or teacher(s) are aware of the child’s condition, and that they know how to help if the child experiences any symptoms related to asthma.
- Call your child’s doctor if he or she is having difficulty breathing, if you feel you are unable to control symptoms, or if symptoms are getting worse.