4 Things to Know About the Enterovirus:
1 . There are many kinds of enteroviruses, including coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, polioviruses, the hepatitis A virus, and enterovirus D68. These viruses are common and infect millions of people every year. They can infect anyone, but they’re more likely to cause illnesses in infants, children, and teens who haven’t developed immunity against the virus, and people with weakened immune systems.
2 . EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva and mucus. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
3. There is no vaccine for preventing EV-D68, but you can help protect yourself and your students by following these steps:
• Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, especially before lunch or after recess or using the bathroom. Make sure to clean in between the fingers and under the nails, where germs can collect.
• Avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid sharing utensils.
• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as desktops and doorknobs.
• Teach students how to cough safely – into their elbow, not their hands.
4 . No antiviral medications are currently available for EV-D68. But symptoms such as fever and muscle aches can be relieved while the infection runs its course, which often takes as little as a day or two. However, some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized.