As you all have probably heard through national news, there have been clusters of cases of Enterovirus D68 popping up in several states. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is monitoring the state closely and has been very busy answering questions. They have not given us notice of any confirmed cases in Wisconsin at this time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics most recent news flash, “Children from 6 weeks to 16 years , and with a median age of 5 years, have been most affected by the current outbreak, especially those with a history of asthma or wheezing. Onset of the symptoms can be quick. Within hours, typical cold symptoms have turned into breathing difficulties, sometimes accompanied by wheezing, cough, rash or fever.”
“Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States for the last 40 years.
EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.”
· PREVENTION AND AWARENESS MEASURES:
· Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
· Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick
· Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, furniture surfaces, and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick
· Cover coughs
· If a child is having breathing difficulties associated with cold symptoms, call the parent immediately for further evaluation
· Monitor attendance and illness patterns and report changes to your local health department
Please check with your local health department for further updates in your area.