By: Larry Studt, M.D., Occupational Health & Medicine Program, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Hospitals
A virus called Enterovirus 68 has been in the news a lot lately. It's a respiratory illness that is sweeping across the nation, sickening hundreds of children. The symptoms appear to be similar to the common cold. They include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Most children who have gotten very ill with this virus, and have needed to be hospitalized, are those who have a history of asthma. They can have difficulty breathing and some wheezing. If you see these symptoms in your child, it is best to take them immediately to the doctor.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Enterovirus 68. Most mild symptoms are relieved by taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever relief. But remember, aspirin should not be given to children without first checking with your doctor.
To stay healthy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends basic practices to avoid spreading the virus. This including washing hands, avoiding those who are sick, and covering the nose and mouth during sneezes or coughs.
Be sure to watch the “Ask the Doc” video to learn more!