Tips for Staying Healthy and Fighting Germs
Recently, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been identified through surveillance samples submitted from central Iowa. While there are no cases in Waukee Schools, it is important for all families to be aware of this virus, the symptoms, and things you can do to avoid becoming sick.
According to Polk County Health Department, EV-D68 often begins like a common cold and symptoms include coughing and wheezing. Most people will recover at home without complications, however, some people may develop a severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 and may need to be hospitalized. Infants, children, and teenagers, especially those with a history of asthma or those who have a condition that compromises their immune system, are most likely to become severely ill. Parents of children with cold-like symptoms that experience difficulty breathing should contact their health care provider.
There are currently no medications available for treatment of EV-D68 infections and there is no vaccine available for the virus. Most infections resolve on their own and require only treatment at home:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Stay home so you do not spread the virus to others
- Clean frequently touched surfaces to stop the spread the spread of the virus at home
Additional preventative actions include:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Avoid sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
If you have questions regarding EV-D68, please contact your family doctor or the Polk Co. Health Department at (515) 268-3798.