4 Things You Need to Know About Enterovirus EV-D68

You may have seen the term “enterovirus” thrown around in the news as of late, but many people don’t actually know much about it. What is this virus all about and is it really that serious?

According to CNN, enteroviruses are actually quite common illnesses that bring on cold-like symptoms. The Center for Disease Control says that 10-15 million cases of enteroviruses are seen around the U.S. each year. Summer colds are usually identified as enteroviruses, although there are over 100 different types.

However, there are a couple other important things to know about Enterovirus EV-D68 specifically:

  • No one can say, for certain, how the virus began: Although enteroviruses tend to be common, EV-D68 is a very rare strain and is not usually this prevalent.
  • No one can say, for certain, how the virus is spread: Most enteroviruses are spread through respiratory fluids like saliva, mucous, touching affected surfaces and feces, but the EV-D68 is rarely seen and therefore rarely studied.
  • Certain groups are more vulnerable than others: Children and asthmatics are said to be especially prone to the virus. It is crucial to bring such patients to the hospital as soon as possible, if they exhibit symptoms so as to improve their abilities to breathe.
  • 12 states have reported clusters of outbreaks: CNN confirmed they these states include Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky. 

Given such information may bring you distress but, for most people, there is little reason to worry. Follow simple identifications and precautionary steps to avoid contracting this virus:

  • Unless you or the affected person has serious issues breathing in conjunction with other symptoms, it is not likely that they have contracted the issue at hand.
  • Practice good hygiene through thorough showers, hand washing and germ dispersal prevention.
  • Be considerate when coughing and sneezing and expect the same of those around you.

For more information on the Enterovirus EV-D68, your best reference is the Centers for Disease Control.

Photo credit: quinn norton

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