Enterovirus D68

October 11, 2014

Many Sandhills Pediatrics families are concerned about Enterovirus D68 affecting their children — here is information from your Sandhills Pediatrics pediatricians and nurse practitioners — for more, click here to access the CDC’s Enterovirus D68 information page.

EV D68 is just one type of Enterovirus – it’s been known for decades but is much more common this year for reasons not well understood.

EV D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Mild symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and body aches. Severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing. Many children are infected with EV D68 and have only mild symptoms. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that is touched by others.

Your child is certain to get colds and coughs this fall and winter – don’t panic with the sniffles! If your child has a cold that suddenly worsens, especially if your child has a history of asthma or wheezing, let us know right away. Signs of respiratory distress include fast breathing, pulling in between or below the ribs with breathing, poor color, poor activity and decreased intake. Call us if you’re concerned about your child! We can help you over the phone, and get you into one of our offices quickly if your child is having difficulty. Remember our Early Bird Walk-in Hours if you’ve had a worried night.

Outside of office hours, specialized pediatric nurses with Sandhills Pediatrics on-call pediatrician backup are available through HealthLink at UNC-Chapel Hill – call 1-888-267-3675 if you need help or advice.

The best ways to protect you child from EV D68 infection are exactly the same ways you use to protect him from other respiratory infections, like the flu. Wash hands often and avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Cover coughs and sneezes. If your child has asthma, be sure you are giving any daily controller medicines we’ve prescribed and your rescue inhaler is up to date!

There is no vaccine for EV D68, but there is a vaccine for flu – come get yours!