San Juan Island School District

HEALTH ADVISORY: HUMAN ENTEROVIRUS (EV-68)

SEPTEMBER, 2014

There have been multiple clusters of respiratory illness outbreaks across the US in the last month; scientists say they believe the infections are caused by Enterovirus D68

The virus starts like the common cold; symptoms include sneezing, runny nose and a cough.  This is all that happens for most people.  But, a minority of persons may have more serious infections, particularly children with pre-existing asthma.  Parents do not need to worry about runny noses and sniffles, but should act quickly to get medical help if a child has a high fever, rash, or has wheezing and  difficulty breathing.  Persons with asthma should be sure their asthma symptoms are under good control, and see a health care provider if they develop respiratory symptoms and their asthma worsens.  Infants, children, and teens are more likely to become ill with the virus because they don’t yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures.

SPREAD OF ENTEROVIRUS-68

  • Close contact with an infected person when he or she coughs or sneezes or by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. 

SYMPTOMS OF ENTEROVIRUS-68

  • Mild to severe respiratory illness, with runny nose, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  • Rash with fever, mouth blisters, muscles aches 

PREVENTION OF ENTEROVIRUS-68

There are no vaccines to prevent this infection, but you can decrease your risk of getting it:

  • WASH HANDS OFTEN WITH SOAP AND WATER FOR 20 SECONDS
  • COVER YOUR COUGH
  • AVOID TOUCHING EYES, NOSE, AND MOUTH WITH UNWASHED HANDS
  • AVOID KISSING, HUGGING, AND SHARING EATING UTENSILS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE ILL
  • DISINFECT FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES, ESPECIALLY IF SOMEONE IN THE HOME IS ILL
  • DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL, DAY CARE, OR WORK IF ILL.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus

N/PHS/CD/ENTEROVIRUS/JR/Enterovirus EV-68.09.2014