In the Midwest, an enterovirus, known as EV-D68, is causing concern. While not a new virus, EV-D68 has recently caused severe respiratory symptoms in affected children in Missouri, and several other states have contacted the CDC for assistance with a possible regional outbreak as well. These are Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. Symptoms of a common cold are typical at the onset of EV-D68, however the development of fever, rash, or dyspnea – particularly in children with asthma – is occurring and necessitating hospitalization, and in some instances, ICU admission.
While details continue to be released, please remember your role in patient education and infection control. Tell parents and caregivers about these symptoms of EV-D68 and advise them to seek care for their child if fever, rash, or breathing difficulties develop. Also, share these basics of infection control:
- avoiding close contact with people who have respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing
- staying home when sick
- washing hands often with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand cleansers
- not touching eyes, nose, or mouth
- keeping surfaces and objects (especially tables, counters, doorknobs, and toys) that can be exposed to a virus clean
- practicing other good health habits, including getting plenty of sleep, staying active, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating healthy foods
As more details are released, we’ll be sure to keep you informed!
Update 9/16/14 - More states have reported EV-D68 infections. Please visit our page on this topic for more information and resources!
Bonsall, L. (2009). Be prepared for H1N1 flu. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, 7(6).