Pubic Service Announcement
"This week we’ve seen media reports of hospitals being slammed with (mostly young) patients with respiratory infections in Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and most recently Colorado. While test results haven’t come back for all of these locations, local doctors are pointing their fingers at the emerging EV 68 virus."
HEV-D68 was first indentified in 1962, but until about 5 years ago, had not been often reported. The CDC called attention to its emergence several years ago – (see MMWR: Clusters Of HEV68 Respiratory Infections 2008-2010) – which looked at a half dozen HEV 68 associated clusters that occurred in Asia, Europe, and the United States during 2008–2010.
For most kids (and adults) this will likely prove little more than a nasty `cold’ or virus. But in a small percentage of cases, it can turn severe (especially in children with underlying respiratory issues like asthma) , and so parents need to pay particular attention this fall. This virus appears to have `legs’, and so we could see a busy start to the winter respiratory illness season.
While rarely seen in the United States, over the past 10 years we’ve seen this virus on the ascendant in China, The Netherlands, Japan, and the Philippines, sometimes producing significant outbreaks.
The advice being given this year is pretty standard, but worth repeating:
- Get your flu shot (no, it won’t prevent EV 68, but it could help prevent a dual flu – Enterovirus infection)
- stay home if you are sick & obtain consultation from your health care provider
- avoid contact with those who are sick
- practice good `flu hygiene’ (cover coughs & sneezes)
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, and eyes with unwashed hands
- and wash your hands often <==singing Happy Birthday twice while washing ensures that you have washed for 20 seconds. Saying The Our Father (Prayer) also works.