Enterovirus (EV D-68) is an infection that is currently making its way around the United States and has recently been found in California.
As of Oct. 17, there have been 43 proven cases of EV D-68 throughout the state with one proven case in Santa Cruz.
EV D-68 affects mostly children 4-5 years of age with a range of 6 weeks to 17 years of age and often shows minimal or no symptoms.
They are however, more likely than adults to have potentially more serious symptoms, especially those children with asthma who may need hospitalization. Infected adults show minimal or no symptoms.
The virus is found in secretions from saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum (from the lung). It is spread by coughing, sneezing or touching contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs or other inanimate objects.
Mild symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, cough, and generalized aches and pains. More serious symptoms are difficulty breathing, worsening asthma and respiratory distress. Mild symptoms are treated as if one were treating the common cold.
More severe cases are usually treated in the hospital, often in the intensive care unit where respiratory care and treatment of wheezing can be best handled. There are no antiviral treatments or vaccines available at this time.
Some ways of protecting one’s self from getting the EV D-68 infection include:
n Frequent washing of hands for preferably 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after changing diapers as the virus is found in stool. The use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not as effective as is the proper use of soap.
n Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands.
n Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils with anyone who appears sick.
n Practice good respiratory hygiene by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue.
n Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
As with any contagious illnesses such as the common cold, influenza, or EV D-68, STAY HOME! See your doctor if you feel that your symptoms are worsening and/or if your fever is rising.
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I’m giving myself a little break and will work half time for the foreseeable future. Your prayers and good thoughts have been greatly appreciated!