According to a recent health advisory from the Centers for Disease Control, enterovirus D68 is a virus that commonly causes respiratory symptoms and, in rare cases, severe illness in children, which may Will lead to increased pediatric hospitalizations and prevention in the U.S. (CDC). Known as EV-D68, the virus belongs to a group of non-polio enteroviruses that are common and endemic at this time of year.
EV-D68 itself isn’t a new virus — it was first discovered in California in 1962 — and this isn’t the first time the virus has caught the attention of public health expert Waleed Javaid, who is An epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control in downtown Mount Sinai. New York City, tell SELF. In 2014, the EV-D68 outbreak was “considerable in size” and mainly affected young children with asthma, Dr. Javaid said. Then, the agency is now “noticing more cases than they’ve seen recently,” Dr. Javaid added. But how worried should you be about this advice, and what should parents be particularly mindful of right now? Here’s what you should know about EV-D68, including its symptoms and what you can do to keep you and your family healthy this cold and flu season.
What are the symptoms and causes of enterovirus D68?
According to the CDC, non-polio enteroviruses like EV-D68 usually cause mild cold-like illness. In the United States, it is most common in children and adolescents, usually in the summer and fall, but anyone can be infected with EV-D68 year-round.
Here are all potential symptoms EV-D68, according to the CDC:
- Runny nose
In rare cases, Children with EV-D68 develop a serious neurological disorder called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), which affects the nervous system and weakens the body’s muscles and ability to respond. Since the CDC first began tracking AFM in August 2014, there have been 692 confirmed cases. To put this into perspective, there are only 13 confirmed cases in 2022. In the past, the peak in reported AFM cases coincided with the peak in reported EV-D68 cases.
Although uncommon, AFM can cause the following symptoms, any of which require immediate medical attention:
- Arm or leg weakness
- Neck, back, arm or leg pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty moving eyes
- Facial weakness or drooping
According to the CDC, all children—from infants to teens—are more likely to get EV-D68 than adults, possibly because of their immunity The system has not touched it in the past. Children with asthma are at especially high risk, Dr. Javaid added.
Can adults be infected with enterovirus D68?
Technically, a virus can infect anyone, but adults are unlikely to be seriously ill or “highly symptomatic” from EV-D68, a Dr. Javid said. As we head into the colder months, it’s understandable that you may be wondering how to tell the difference between EV-D68 and other circulating viruses, including the common cold, flu, and COVID-19. Unfortunately, there isn’t always an easy way to know for sure unless you get tested.