EV-D68, a type of Enterovirus (the common cold/Rhinovirus is also of this type), is sweeping through the midwest. From Denver to Kansas City to Chicago, 12 states are reporting an outbreak and seeing hundreds of kids hospitalized.
Usually, EV-D68 is rare, although it’s serious. Like other Enteroviruses, it crops up occasionally in the fall, with small clusters of kids getting infected. This year, we are seeing large clusters—with more than 10% of those kids needing urgent hospital care.
How is it spreading? Like related viruses, not everyone who gets EV-D68 has symptoms, and some people get only mild cold-like symptoms. But others—those who already have weakened immune systems, in this case, kids with asthma (they make up 2 out of 3 of those seen at the hospital)—develop more serious symptoms like severe coughing and wheezing. People with stronger immune systems are likely passing it off to those who are more at risk.
How do we stop transmission?
This is largely a hand-washing virus. Enteroviruses infect the gastrointestinal tract, so they are often passed by the fecal-oral route (poo particles get on hands, hands end up on faces/mouths—the virus can also survive on surfaces like handles, etc.). Coughing can also spread the disease.
Teach kids to wash hands frequently—after going to the bathroom, before eating, etc. Teach them to cough into their elbow, not their hands. Consider donating wet wipes or other quick, non toxic cleaning supplies to their classroom.
If your kid gets sick, as long as they can breathe, they can recover at home and avoid the hospital. The good news is that most kids are recovering quickly, and none have died. The bad news is there’s no special treatment—just rest, clear fluids, vegetable filled chicken soup.
In the meantime, send your kid to school prepared, and be sure to support their immune system (especially if it’s weak!) with colloidal silver.
And keep their immune system up even after they get better—don’t leave them weakened for other fall/winter disease, like colds, flu, whooping cough, etc.!
Are you taking precautions against the new virus?