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Quick Facts about Enterovirus D-68

October 14, 2014
A blue stethescope.

Beginning in mid-August of this year, a widespread breakout of Enterovirus D68 affected a large part of the United States. The virus has appeared in 46 states with a total of 691 people being diagnosed thus far.

Georgia alone has confirmed at least 9 cases of EV-D68 found in children. With the large amount of media attention surrounding this outbreak, it can be difficult to have your specific questions answered. Here are a few things about this enterovirus you need to know:

Children Have Highest Risk of Infection

From infants to teenagers, young people in this age group have inexperienced immune systems and are prone to contracting EV-D86. Also, children who have asthma or other respiratory conditions are most likely to become ill with the virus and suffer from more severe symptoms.

Common Flu-Like Symptoms

These symptoms include fever, body aches, sneezing and runny nose among other symptoms. Severe symptoms are a serious matter and may include difficulty breathing and wheezing.

No Vaccine

Unfortunately, there is no preventative medicine to guard yourself against this Enterovirus.

Take the Common-Sense Approach

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the best way to protect yourself against the virus is to:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly for 20 seconds.
  • Stay at home when you’re sick.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect doorknobs, countertops and other solid surfaces in your home when a family member is sick.

If your child suffers from asthma, be sure to contact your doctor as soon as symptoms appear. EV-D68 can become very dangerous for children with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

For more information about Enterovirus D68, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website and call your physician with any questions you might have.

About the Author

A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a blogger for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.

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