In the United States, more than 500 patients have been diagnosed respiratory illness Enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68), most of them children. In most cases, the virus, which is related to the flu, comes and goes on its own. In one case so far, a child has died of the virus; four other children died after getting the virus, but EV-D68 was not considered the cause of death. This guide should help you protect yourself and your loved ones.
Here’s how you should protect yourself:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces and clean and disinfect such surfaces in your home or place of work
Here’s what to look for in your children:
- Signs of troubled breathing, including chest pains or wheezing
- Severe difficulty waking up
- Other cold-like symptoms
Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told TIME in September that the virus was a definite cause for concern. “The unusual increases in Kansas City and Chicago may be occurring elsewhere in the weeks ahead, so we want people to be on the lookout,” she said.
And, as always, see your health provider if you’re concerned. Enterovirus can strike suddenly.