Viral Respiratory Infections on the Rise, Especially Among Kids

Viral Respiratory Infections on the Risemodern natural baby inprogress, Especially Among Kids

(Oakland County Health Division, Sept. 9, 2014)

With reports of Enterovirus D68 on the rise through the country, Oakland County Health Division has come out with a fact sheet about the infection. Reports vary as to whether this has been confirmed in Michigan or not, though information about EV-D68 can be helpful in understanding other Enterovirus infections as well.

What is Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)?

Enteroviruses are very common viruses. There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Most enterovirus infections in the keith dalton adU.S. occur seasonally during the summer and fall. In fact, enteroviruses are the second most frequent cause of “the common cold.”

Unlike the majority of enteroviruses that cause a variety of symptoms, EV-D68 has been associated almost exclusively with respiratory disease and causes mild to unusually severe respiratory illness. EV-D68 infections occur much less often than other enterovirus strains, but like other strains, EV-D68 spreads through close contact with infected people.

What are the symptoms?

People who are infected with EV-D68 can have a range of symptoms, from mild to severe illness requiring hospitalization. Symptoms may include:

~ Difficulty breathingJim Shaffer KELLER ad black

~ Cough

~ New onset wheezing

~ Fever

~Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)

How is it transmitted?

EV-D68 can be found in an infected person’s secretions (such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum). An infected person can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms. You can get exposed to the virus by:

MBREW draft one~Having close contact, such as touching or shaking hands, with an infected person

~Touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them

Who is at highest risk?

EV-D68 is most often seen in children ages 6 – 16, but occurs in all ages. People with a history of asthma may be at an increased risk.

How do you prevent EV-D68?

There is no vaccine to protect from EV-D68 infection. Since many infected people do not have symptoms, it is

very important to remember to protect yourself and others by following these tips:

~ Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 secondsseed015_kathryn_balcer

~ Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

~Avoid kissing, hugging, shaking hands, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick

~Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick

~Stay home when feeling sick, and talk with your doctor

~Cover your cough

How do you treat EV-D68?

There is no treatment for EV-D68 infections; specifically there are no anti-viral medications or vaccinations currently available for this purpose. Many infections will be mild and self-limited, requiring only symptomatic treatment. Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy.

For more health information turn to Oakland County Health Division’s website.

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