Avoiding the Enterovirus D68 (or EV-D68)
by Kirsten Falcone, RN
It’s certain by now you have all heard about Enterovirus D68 that so far has affected primarily infants, children and teenagers in several states across the country. Recently it came to New York State, making it a priority of the Hilbert Wellness Center and the Hilbert Community to make certain that younger students know how to avoid transmission of this or any virus with which they may come in contact.
EV-D68 is a respiratory virus that causes symptoms such as fever, runny nose, cough, sneezing, and muscle aches. If you have just one or two of these symptoms, it most likely is not the virus in question. In severe cases it can cause difficulty breathing. Therefore, any child or teenager who has a history of respiratory difficulties, such as asthma, needs to be more vigilant in avoiding this virus. Since this is a virus, and not caused by bacteria, antibiotics will not kill it. The only way to manage it is by treating the symptoms.
It should also be stated that asymptomatic people can also be carriers of the virus. Therefore, everyone should take precautions to avoid its transmission. Here is what you need to do to reduce the spread of any virus or the flu:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water (see last year’s post on proper hand washing).
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Always wash your hands when returning to your home/dorm room.
- Disinfect all surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, desks and water faucet handles.
- Avoid close contact with sick people, and don’t share their eating utensils or cups.
- Take good care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating properly, and exercising.
If you develop signs of a respiratory infection, you can come to the Wellness Center to arrange a doctor’s appointment, or go directly to one of the immediate care facilities in the area. There is a list of immediate care facilities at the Wellness Center at 123 St. Joseph Hall.
For more information on EV-D68, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Website at http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html?s_cid=cdc_homepage_whatsnew_001.