EVD68

New virus has parents worried sick…

Back in the classroom, kids should be focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic, but a virus making the national rounds has children falling ill and parents worried sick. Doctors with Urgent Care in West Hartford are urging parents to be on the lookout for symptoms of this respiratory virus known as EV-D68 sweeping the nation.

The enterovirus symptoms are sneaky — they mimic severe colds, allergies and asthma — and are hitting asthmatics especially hard. With the upcoming fall season bringing the common cold and allergies to the forefront, has created a Symptom Tracker that parents can use to determine whether their children have just caught a cold or if it’s something more severe.

“This virus is a scary reality for parents across the nation right now,” said Dr. Bruce Irwin, founder of American Family Care. “Our local doctors are warning people to be on the lookout for symptoms that usually occur in colds or allergies, but just seem a little bit worse. Wheezing is also a key symptom that shouldn’t be overlooked in the face of this virus.”

Wheeze Watch

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wheezing is the biggest indicator that children are suffering from the EV-D68 virus. Children under the age of 5 and those with asthma are at high risk for this particular virus. Children with asthma are particularly vulnerable, since the virus is attacking their already-compromised respiratory systems.

Healthy Hands

Staying healthy is all about clean hands and awareness, according to local doctors and the CDC.

➔ Wash hands with warm water and soap

➔ Cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze

➔ Wipe down communal surfaces with antibacterial wipes

➔ Avoid those that are sick

Asthma Awareness

Since children with asthma are having a hard time with the EV-D68 virus, parents should be aware of viral symptoms, as well as signs of an asthma attack. Doctors recommend that parents go over an asthma action plan with their children, including where inhalers are located, when to seek help and emergency contact information.