“Enterovirus—Don’t Panic”

September 11, 2014

Enteroviruses in general are incredibly common causing about 10-15 million infections a year. They can cause colds along with fever, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes. The virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease is an enterovirus. They are most common in the summer and fall seasons. 
Enterovirus D68 for some reason can cause severe respiratory illness. It also can cause neurological symptoms such as paralysis as it is from the same gene family as polio but called a non-polio enterovirus. 

The virus is particularly dangerous for the following people: 

  • People with underlying respiratory conditions-COPD 
  • Children with asthma 
  • People with weaker immune systems- newborns, pregnant women 

SYMPTOMS: 

  • Cough, runny nose, sneezing 
  • Fever 
  • Progressively getting ill instead of better 
  • If you notice a cough or cold symptoms in yourself or child Don’t panic. Just keep a close eye on the illness and if not getting better but becoming sicker—contact your Doctor or go to the ED or an Urgent Care. 

TRANSMISSION: 

  • Person to person like most viruses do 
  • In bodily fluids – saliva, mucous, and fecal. Through cough, sneezes, handshakes, sharing cups and utensils, touching unclean surfaces, changing diapers and sharing toys. 


TREATMENT: 

  • Supportive care only 
  • No vaccines 
  • Use of oxygen if trouble breathing 
  • Fluids for dehydration 
  • Medication for fever 


PREVENTION: 

  • There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections 
  • You can help protect yourself and prevent spread by doing the following steps: 
  • WASH your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth –The “T” zone 
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
  • Disinfect frequently touched surface, such as phone handles, doorknobs, keyboards, chair handles, copy machines and other shared office equipment, and if you have children toys. 
  • Wear a mask if you have cold like symptoms 
  • Wear a mask around patients who have cold like symptoms 


More information can be found on CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html?s_cid=cdc_homepage_whatsnew_001 

For more information about Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, visit NNRHospital.com.