Frequently Asked Questions
What is Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)?
EV-D68 is an enterovirus (non-polio type) which causes respiratory illness. Infections from enteroviruses are common in the United States, and many times cause no symptoms or mild symptoms. Occasionally, more severe illness can occur. Most enterovirus infections in the US are seen in the summer and fall. EV-D68 is believed to occur less frequently in the US compared to other enteroviruses, but it tends to cause more severe illness.
What are the symptoms?
The full spectrum of EV-D68 illness is not well-defined, but the virus is known to cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Typical symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and sore throat. People (especially children) with underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma are at higher risk for hospitalization, pneumonia, and other complications. Keeping asthma under control is an important step in helping to prevent possible complications of EV-D68 infection.
How does EV-D68 spread?
Because EV-D68 is not frequently identified, this virus has not been studied as extensively as other enterovirus. Its transmission is not fully understood. EV-D68 is found in respiratory secretions including saliva, nasal mucus, and sputum. The virus is also found in stool. Infection is likely spread when a susceptible person comes in contact with secretions produced by an infected person.
What is the treatment for EV-D68?
There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 and there are currently no antivirals available to treat EV- D68 infection. Many infections are mild and self-limited, only requiring treatment of the symptoms. Some individuals with severe respiratory illness will require hospitalization and intensive supportive therapy.
How is EVD-68 prevented?
There is no vaccine to prevent EV-D68. The following steps are recommended to help protect yourself and others against respiratory illnesses:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers. Please note that hand sanitizer is NOT effective against this virus.
Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and utensils with people who are sick.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
Stay home from work or school if you are sick.