A contagious respiratory virus has been reported as the culprit creating illness in hundreds of children primarily in the Midwest. Most recently making the news in Denver, Colo. where a spate of respiratory infections sent approximately 900 children to nearby clinics and hospitals, there are now reports of the virus possibly moving into Utah.
The official name of the virus is enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). It spreads from person to person just like the common cold through coughing, sneezing and touching contaminated surfaces and it’s often mistaken for a bad cold with the exception of accompanying raised red rashes in some instances. The virus tends to strike children and can cause severe respiratory problems especially among kids with asthma or allergies.
Similar to the common cold, there isn’t a cure or vaccine for EV-D68. Most cases will be mild and unpleasant with only severe complications requiring a trip to the clinic or a hospital stay. No deaths have been reported and none are anticipated as a result of the enterovirus infection. Parents are urged to seek immediate medical help if their child appears to have problems breathing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best methods for preventing EV-D68 include frequent, thorough hand washing, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
At this time, the CDC doesn’t know why this particular virus has made such a strong reappearance after decades of minor occurrences.More