You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the Enterovirus D68 on the news. Babies, children, teens, especially those with asthma, are more likely to become infected but anyone can get it. The good news is there are things you can do to lower your risk of becoming sick with EV-D68 .
What exactly is enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)?
Enterovirus D68, pronounced “enter-o-vy-rus” is one of a family of 100 enteroviruses that causes respiratory and other symptoms that can be mild to severe. Mild symptoms include: runny nose, sneezing, and coughing, fever, and body aches. Severe symptoms include: wheezing and trouble breathing.
How do people get this virus?
The virus is found in an infected person’s mucous, saliva and/or sputum (secretions from the lungs). EV-D68 likely spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs close to a non-infected person. The virus can also be spread by touching contaminated objects or surfaces.
How can a person tell if they have enterovirus D68?
The only way a person can tell for sure if they have EV-D68 is by seeing health care provider and getting a special test. Most people do not need a test unless they have been exposed to an infected person.
Can enterovirus D68 be prevented?
There are ways to lower a person’s risk for getting infected with the EV-D68 virus (as well as many other illnesses that are spread from person to person).
- Avoid being around people who are sick-don’t kiss, hug or share cups or silverware with anyone who is ill.
- Avoid shaking hands with others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
- Wash your hands before touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
- Clean surfaces with a disinfectant when anyone in your family is sick.
If you have asthma, you should also:
- Take your medicine to control your breathing
- Follow your asthma action plan.
- Get a flu shot.
- If your symptoms get worse or they don’t go away, call your health care provider right away.
The Center for Disease Control