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There’s a reason why everyone’s paying attention to the respiratory virus that’s moving across the USA and into Canada this month. Enterovirus D68 is different. It starts as a common cold. And for some previously healthy infants, toddlers and children, it progresses to severe respiratory distress treated in the intensive care unit.
This virus has been around since the early 1960s, and has almost never been as widespread as it is this fall. There is no direct treatment or vaccine, and all treatment measures are supportive. Which is good news, because it means you can start to treat your little ones at home as soon as cold symptoms start.
Not every cold this fall will be caused by Enterovirus D68. In fact, most probably won’t be. But to help you prepare, here are some guidelines for what to watch for, how to treat, and when you need to have your child seen in a doctor’s office or ER. And here is a fact sheet on Enterovirus D68 from the Centers for Disease Control.
– Dr. G. Paul Dempsey
[Featured image: anjanettew]