What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68

10.19.2014

What Is the Midwest Enterovirus?

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), the severe respiratory virus that has caused the hospitalization of hundreds of children in the Midwest and West, continues to spread to other parts of the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 43 states and the District of Columbia have lab-confirmed cases of the severe infection among children, and additional states currently have cases being tested for EV-D68. The state of Texas is among those with confirmed cases.

Enteroviruses are a family of viruses that cause the common cold and similar respiratory illnesses, with an estimated 10 million to 15 million people infected each year. Enterovirus cases commonly increase in September as kids head back to school. EV-D68 is a rare enterovirus that is causing more severe cases than in the past, and can be especially troublesome for kids with asthma because it causes difficulty breathing. Children between ages four and 12 are most at risk. Symptoms resemble those of the common cold:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Body and muscle aches
  • Cough that peaks between day three to five and resolves between day seven and 10

What to Do If You Suspect EV-D68

Do not panic! In most cases, symptoms are mild and typically subside within a few days. If your child develops cold or flu-like symptoms, you can walk into RediClinic, your local Austin walk-in medical clinic, for treatment from board-certified medical professionals at a moment’s notice. If symptoms seem to be worsening, do not hesitate to report to the closest emergency room. Severe respiratory symptoms may evolve rapidly and your child may require oxygen and other emergency medical interventions.

To find a convenient RediClinic location near you, visit www.RediClinic.com.