In the news recently we are hearing more and more about Human Enterovirus D-68, otherwise known as EV-D68. Watch this Urgent Care Medical Minute Alert  to find out what you need to know about EV-D68, which is mostly affecting children, and what you can do to help your child avoid contracting it.

Human Enterovirus, also known as EV-D68, is a contagious respiratory virus transmitted readily, primarily to children, in a similar fashion as the common cold. Although not a fatal infection, EV-68 is still scary.

What are the symptoms of EV-68?:

Symptoms of EV-D68 may include difficulty breathing, similar to an asthma attack. Other than that it could look like a common cold that often becomes a more virulent cold with difficulty breathing

How do you treat EV-68?

The virus is treated with supportive care, usually oxygen, and in severe cases with a respirator, EV-68 is a viral infection that will eventually run its’ course, normally within a week. Symptoms can be treated with over -the counter remedies and plenty of rest, just as with any other respiratory infection.

EV-68 is traditionally transmitted from the end of August through early October. This year we are seeing a more virulent strain, which may stay with us for longer. If your child is having any difficulty breathing, or comes down with a cold, you might want to have asthma medicine available and immediately contact your doctor or come into .

Are there any vaccines for EV-D68?

As of this date, there is no test to detect Human Enterovirus 68 and no explanation thus far about why the virus is so much more aggressive and present this year.

How can I protect my child from contracting EV-D68

Just as with a cold, school is a natural breeding ground for EV-D68. Help your child avoid contracting enterovirus D68 by following the following guidelines:

  • during flu and cold season, make sure they do not share school supplies and especially food
  • make sure they wash their hands often or at the very least use hand sanitizer a few times during the day
  • avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid kissing and hugging those with those who are sick