Health tips to fight EV-D68

Cases of enterovirus (EV-D68) in Connecticut and nationwide have been raising concerns from health officials and parents due to its possible dangerous symptoms.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EV-D68 is one of more than

Mild symptoms of enterovirus D68 many include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.

Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

In general, infants, children, and teens are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses. Those with a history of respiratory difficulties such as asthma are more at risk for severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 infection.

The virus spreads through contact with respiratory secretions — saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum — usually transmitted by coughing, sneezing, or touching contaminated surfaces.

Prevent infection

The best way to prevent infection by enterovirus is to:

• Wash hands often.

• Avoid touching one’s face, especially with unwashed hands.

• Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing food, drinks, or utensils with people who are sick.

• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.

Treatment for enterovirus is the same as for a cold or the flu: Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, treat with fever and/or pain reducers as needed, and stay home until fully recovered.

The CDC urges those with asthma to update and follow their asthma action plan, to take medications as prescribed, and to be sure to keep reliever medications on hand. Call a doctor right away if there are new or worsening symptoms that do not go away.