October 2014 Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68)
Since August, 2014, there has been a nationwide outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by EV-D68, mostly affecting children. Since August, this virus has made it to Rhode Island. Providers are evaluating children and adults who have sudden onset of wheezing, respiratory distress, and low oxygen saturation level in blood (hypoxia). If the individual oxygen saturation level is below 90%, the providers are considering hospitalization.
Fact Sheet from RI Department of Health :
Enteroviruses are very common and there are more than 100 known types; one example is the Hand, Foot, and Mouth virus. These viral infections occur mostly in the summer and fall. EV-D68 infection, like other enterovirus strain may cause mild respiratory illness. Some experience serious illness (including but not limited to difficulty breathing or wheezing) especially children with underlying illnesses and asthma.
How it spreads is by droplets- sneezing, coughing, touching contaminated surfaces and then you touch your eyes or mouth or nose. There is no vaccine to prevent EV-D68 and no medication to treat EV-D68 infections.
Prevention is to practice good hand washing frequently for 20 seconds using soap and water. Purell is recommended if there is no water/soap available. Cough or sneeze into your elbow and not your hands. Avoid close contact with individuals, who are ill , avoid sharing drinks, food, utensils . Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, doorknobs, computer keyboards, community telephones . Stay home if you are sick . If you have asthma, follow your asthma care plan, and call your provider if you are ill. Get a flu vaccine.
Health Screenings: Heights/ Weights this month during PE classes.