Normally, enterovirus causes little more than a cold or flu like illness. In young children, the immunocompromised, and those with respiratory conditions like asthma, it can be more severe, but almost never deadly. Since the 1960’s, however, the occasional case of Enterovirus D-68 has arisen with fatal consequences. Pictured with her mother, Kinley Galbreath is a recent victim of the virus who is in a fight for her life. The first indication that Kinley had more than a cold was a statement she made to her mother before bed three weeks ago: “Mommy, my hands are going numb.”
Numbness and eventual paralysis are hallmarks of this strain of Enterovirus. This year in the United States 628 people have reported this illness and 4 have since perished. Kinley’s story is, unfortunately, not the only one.
CDC recommendations to prevent spread of the disease are fairly standard. Review the list below and practice due diligence. Though this year’s virus does not seem to have any specific mutation, it is significantly more virulent than in seasons past. These suggestions may prove helpful in preventing the spread of other viruses as well.
WHAT IS ENTEROVIRUS EV-D68? SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- ED-D68 begins as a cold, with coughing, fever and wheezing.
- The virus can cause breathing difficulties but most recover well after a week
- This particular enterovirus is spread through bodily contact making children far more susceptible.
- Health officials have said there is not much that can be done about it other than washing hands with soap and disinfecting surfaces.
- There’s no vaccine for EV-D68