This week a student in our school was confirmed to have Enterovirus D68, which caused him to be hospitalized. This letter is sent to inform parents of the symptoms of this virus and help in determining when your child should be kept home.
Enterovirus D68 is one of many enteroviruses. The symptoms are:
- Mild symptoms may include: fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches.
- Severe symptoms may include: difficulty breathing and wheezing. People with asthma may have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.
Since Enterovirus causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. It is spread from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
There is no specific treatment for this virus. For mild respiratory illness, you can help relieve symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children. If your child develops severe respiratory illness, you should seek medical attention. There are no antiviral medications or vaccines against the virus. Please keep your child home if they display fever, with the above symptoms.
The best and most effective way to protect against contracting the illness and/or the spread of this virus is:
- Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, etc.
Since children with asthma are at higher risk for respiratory illness, they should continue to follow their prescribed treatment while we are under threat from this virus. They should also get their flu shot as soon as possible.
If you have further questions, I can be reached at 315-655-1355. Thank you for your time and remember the best defense against illness is thorough hand washing.
Sincerely,Mrs. Hirt, RN & Mrs. MacIntosh
School Nurse & Principal
Burton Street Elementary