HealthFix: Enterovirus D68 warning signs and treatment

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Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses, which are thought to be responsible for a spectrum of diseases. EV-D68 is a respiratory illness that can be found in saliva and mucus, so infection tends to spread through coughing, sneezing, or contact with a contaminated surface. Generally, infants, children, and teenagers are at the highest risk of contracting EV-D68. However, adults can be infected with the virus, but their symptoms tend to be mild.

What are the symptoms of EV-D68?

  • Fever
  • Runny nose/Sinus congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Body and muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

What are the treatment options for EV-D68?

Unfortunately, there are no specific treatments for EV-D68. The most important step is prevention.

  • For mild respiratory illness, take over-the-counter pain medication and fever reducers
  • For severe respiratory illness, seek immediate medical attention

Prevention

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are ill
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue or shirt sleeve
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs
  • Stay home when you are sick

Christopher Valentine, M.D.
Pioneer Valley Hospital
www.pioneervalleyhospital.com