Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

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Topic Overview

What is an enterovirus D68 infection?

Enterovirus D68 is an infection in the lungs and breathing passages (respiratory system). It is caused by a virus called enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). This is one of many kinds of enteroviruses.

Enterovirus infections usually cause mild, cold-like symptoms. But an enterovirus D68 infection can be more serious, especially in people with breathing problems such as asthma.

What are the symptoms of an enterovirus D68 infection?

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) can cause mild to severe cold- or flu-like symptoms.

Typical symptoms may include:

  • Fever.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Cough.
  • Body and muscle aches.

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Wheezing and trouble breathing.

How is enterovirus D68 diagnosed?

If your doctor thinks that you may have an enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection, he or she will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms and past health.

Your doctor may do a blood test to detect enterovirus D68. It may take some time to get the results. You may get treated before a test is done or before you know the results.

How is an enterovirus D68 infection treated?

The main treatment for most enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections is to relieve symptoms. There are no medicines to cure the infection. And because the infection is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won't help.

If you are having trouble breathing or have severe symptoms, you may need to be treated in the hospital. This may include getting oxygen, fluids through a vein (IV), and help breathing.

How can respiratory infections be prevented?

Wash your hands regularly, and keep your hands away from your face.

Stay home from school, work, and other public places until you are feeling better. A good guide is to wait for 24 hours after a fever is gone before resuming your regular activities.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

Care for your child

How do you treat your child's respiratory infection at home?

  • Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for fever or pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Be careful with cough and cold medicines. Don't give them to children younger than 6, because they don't work for children that age and can even be harmful. For children 6 and older, always follow all the instructions carefully. Make sure you know how much medicine to give and how long to use it. And use the dosing device if one is included.
  • Be careful when giving your child over-the-counter cold or flu medicines and Tylenol at the same time. Many of these medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Read the labels to make sure that you are not giving your child more than the recommended dose. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • Keep your child away from smoke. Do not smoke or allow anyone else to smoke in your house.
  • Make sure your child rests. Keep your child at home.

When to call a doctor

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child has severe trouble breathing. Symptoms may include:
    • Using the belly muscles to breathe.
    • The chest sinking in or the nostrils flaring when your child struggles to breathe.
  • Your child seems very sick or is hard to wake up.

Call your doctor now or seek medical care right away if:

  • Your child has new or worse trouble breathing.
  • Your child has a new or higher fever.
  • Your child has a new rash.
  • Your child seems to be getting sicker.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child is coughing more deeply or more often, especially if you notice more mucus or a change in the color of the mucus.
  • Your child has a new symptom, such as a sore throat or an earache.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Care for yourself

How do you treat your respiratory infection at home?

  • Take an over-the-counter medicine for fever or pain, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Be careful when taking over-the-counter cold or flu medicines and Tylenol at the same time. Many of these medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Read the labels to make sure that you are not taking more than the recommended dose. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • Before you use cough and cold medicines, check the label. These medicines may not be safe for people with certain health problems.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around you.
  • Get extra rest. Slow down just a little from your usual routine. You don't need to stay home in bed, but try not to expose others to your illness.

When to call a doctor

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have severe trouble breathing.

Call your doctor now or seek medical care right away if:

  • You have new or worse trouble breathing.
  • You have a new or higher fever.
  • You have a new rash.
  • You seem to be getting much sicker.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You cough more deeply or more often, especially if you notice more mucus or a change in the color of the mucus.
  • You have a new symptom, such as a sore throat, an earache, or sinus pain.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerLeslie Tengelsen, PhD, DVM -

Current as ofJune 27, 2016

Current as of: June 27, 2016

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Leslie Tengelsen, PhD, DVM -