BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge health officials say two children have been treated at Our Lady of the Lake for Enterovirus D68. Officials add that there have been no deaths reported at this point in the state.
Health officials say 12 states now have respiratory illnesses caused by an uncommon virus - Enterovirus 68.
Physicians say this particular virus is more likely to severely sicken infants and teens, but most of those who are infected feel like they have a common cold.
EV-D68 presents with cold-like symptoms, such as fever, coughing, body aches and a runny nose. It may also cause breathing problems or wheezing. When parents notice high fever, dehydration or trouble breathing they should immediately take their child in to see their primary care provider or to see a provider at an urgent care clinic.
So far, no other cases have been reported in the Baton Rouge area. Investigators say it's not yet clear what triggered the outbreak or whether it's worsening.
On the CDC website, it states:
From mid-August to September 16, 2014, a total of 130 people from 12 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 12 states are Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The cases of EV-D68 infection were confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories that notified CDC.
The CDC website also says the summer and fall are the seasons for Enterovirus.
To help prevent spread of the virus, use the same tools we do for the flu – wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and don't share food or drinks with people who are sick. Close contact with our loved ones may also encourage the spread of the virus, so avoid hugging or kissing someone who is sick and make sure to clean surfaces such as doorknobs and handles that may have been touched by someone who is sick.
Here is more on what you need to know about EV-D68 and tips on how you can protect your children:
- School-aged children contract 7 to 10 viruses each year, including enteroviruses, and kids with healthy immune systems are well-equipped to fight them
- Most enteroviruses spread through contact and respiratory secretions (like sneezing or coughing)
- There are no anti-viral medications, and treatment is specific to symptoms, which can be different for each child
- Very young children and kids with asthma are particularly susceptible
Helpful Tips to Prevent the Spread of Enterovirus
- Follow similar steps you take to prevent the common cold:
Wash hands with soap and warm water for 30 seconds after using the restroom or changing your child's diaper
Disinfect surfaces that are commonly used, such as doorknobs or toys
Avoid contact with anyone who has shown symptoms or is sick
- Contact your pediatrician if you suspect your child is acting different or is showing signs of respiratory illness (congestion, coughing, fever, etc.)
Visit www.ololphysiciangroup.com to find a pediatrician if you are not an established patient with a primary care physician
- Go to your nearest emergency room immediately if your child has any trouble breathing, is wheezing or you notice a bluish tint to their lips