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What Parents Should Know About Enterovirus D68

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The CDC recently Yellrt Report an outbreak of enterovirus D68 in a child hospitalized with severe respiratory illness to your healthcare provider. The virus can also cause a form of paralysis known as acute flaccid myelitis. Most illnesses from this virus don’t cause paralysis, but it’s good for providers to have this on their radar. So what does that mean as a parent?

What is enterovirus D68?

This virus is an enterovirus in the same family as polio. (In fact, there is a whole group of these “non-polio enteroviruses.”) Enteroviruses, so named because they spend part of their time in the intestine, can also cause respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and coughing. is associated with severe respiratory symptoms, especially in children with a history of asthma or wheezing.

EV-D68 is one such virus that has been linked. Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) was described as polio-like paralysis during the first big wave of 2014. This pattern appears to continue, with subsequent spikes in late summer and early fall 2016, 2018, and 2020. Year.

What is acute flaccid myelitis?

Myelitis is inflammation of the spinal cord that causes weakness and paralysis. “Acute” means sudden onset and “flaccid” means the affected area appears loose. (This is to distinguish it from other forms of paralysis in which muscles jerk or spasm.)

Symptoms of AFM include weakness in the arms and legs, but other parts of the body can be affected, such as drooping eyelids, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. The CDC calls his AFM “rare but significant.” If your child has any of these symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention.

What should parents know?

It’s important to remember that this virus is not that common and AFM is even rarer. In short: don’t panic.

Luckily, the ways you can protect yourself and your children from this virus are the same things you’re already doing to reduce your risk of contracting colds, flu, COVID, gastroenteritis, and other common illnesses. The CDC has Information poster for parentsadvises:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • cover coughs and sneezes
  • wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
  • don’t touch your face with unwashed hands
  • stay home when sick

Although there is no vaccine for EV-D68, CDC recommends getting up to date on vaccines to protect against other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms, such as polio and influenza.

If your child has asthma, the CDC recommends making sure you have up-to-date information. Asthma Action Plan It specifies what medications and precautions to take depending on how much asthma is bothering them. Please see a doctor.

What Parents Should Know About Enterovirus D68

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