Enterovirus D68 Update: What Moms Need to Know Now

mom comforting sick child taking his temperature

The enterovirus D68 has been spreading across the country at an alarming rate and infected hundreds of people in over 40 states. Its most common and vulnerable hosts, however, are children. And just this morning, a child in Rhode Island has passed away from an infection associated with the virus.

The 10-year-old girl contracted Staphylococcus aureus sepsis, which can turn deadly when associated with enterovirus -- however, it's a rare combination. The latest news coming out of Boston also shows that some kids who have been diagnosed with it are also experiencing polio-like symptoms.

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According to doctors at Boston Children's Hospital, four children between the ages of 4 and 15 have been tested for the virus and all have experienced some form of weakness. Three of the patients came back negative while results are still pending for the fourth. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that nine Colorado children experienced some level of paralysis.

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While all this sounds scary, don't panic. The majority of people who contract EV-D68 won't experience anything more than a runny nose and a low grade fever. And the CDC recommends you take these steps to prevent your family from getting sick:

  • Make sure your kids wash their hands frequently with soap and water
  • Avoid playdates with kids who are sick
  • Keep the main areas of the house disinfected -- the kitchen and bathroom especially

If your child shows any of the symptoms of enterovirus D68 -- a fever of 100.4 or greater, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, rashes on the arm and legs, mouth blisters -- call your pediatrician.

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