By: Kathy Livolsi, RN, Director of Clinical Operations, Department of Pediatrics
You may have heard news stories about a respiratory virus impacting several states. Connecticut’s Department of Public Health recently confirmed the first cases of Enterovirus EV-D68 in the state. Though the virus has mostly likely impacted many children, it tends to be those with underlying respiratory conditions (such as asthma) who end up being treated in Emergency Departments or admitted to the hospital with complications.
Mild symptoms include, wheezing, runny nose, body and muscle aches as well as a cough. There may be a fever as well, but there are cases reported to have presented with a low or no fever at all. More severe symptoms usually affect children with underlying asthma or respiratory conditions and can include difficulty breathing. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, and you are concerned about his or her health, please contact your healthcare provider.
There is no cure or vaccination for EV-D68, but similar to the flu and other viruses, good hand hygiene is your best defense becoming infected:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid kissing, hugging, 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
For more information on the current guidelines for preventing and treating the virus, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s webpage on Enterovirus D68.
Our goal is to prevent the spread of this virus in the community as best we can. As has been done in other pediatric units in states seeing a spike in the virus, we have implemented visitation limitations for children younger than 13 on the pediatric unit. This is done to minimize the exposure of healthy children to the virus which will minimize the spread of germs.