With the dreaded Enterovirus D68 making its presence in my state, my NICU mommy, post traumatic, germ-o-phobia is rearing its ugly head. Between Entero, Ebola and Chikungunya cases filling my newsfeed and dominating the media, I am all but ready to purchase a bubble for the three of us. Do I keep my baby home and isolated through all of this? I probably will to some extent, but since life goes on, I will definitely arm us with a variety of disinfecting wipes, possibly some masks (a little over the top, but might provide me some sanity in the event that someone starts coughing like their chest is about to explode in the vicinity of my child) and organic, child friendly, mosquito repellant.
Since Ebola is not yet in my state (as far as we know) and Chikungunya cases have been few, Enterovirus D68 is my biggest fear at the moment and rightfully so. So far it has been the cause of 4 deaths, the latest victim, a 4 year old boy in New Jersey. Here is what the CDC has to say about this EV-D68:
- runny nose
- body and muscle aches
- difficulty breathing
Yes these all sound like regular flu symptoms! Don’t take the chance, make sure and take your child to the doctor if he or she is sick. It’s also better to keep kids at home if they aren't feeling well.
How does it spread?
According to the CDC this virus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes and touches surfaces that are later touched by others. This means that door knobs or handles, toilet flushers and any other frequently handled surfaces are more perilous. Use a paper towel to touch and wash hands frequently!
How you protect you kids?
The CDC advises the following:
- Encourage kids to wash their hands very often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid contact with people who are ill, especially close contact such as hugging kissing or sharing eating utensils
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as toys, teething rings and doorknobs
- Encourage older kids to cough or sneeze into their elbow or shirt sleeve instead of their hands
- Keep kids home if they are exhibiting any cold or flu symptoms
Enterovirus D68 is expected to last through the Fall season, but the protective practices listed above are good guidelines for protecting your kids all year round, and especially during flu season. Stay safe my friends! I wish you much health in these sickly times!