EV-D68: A virus primer so you won't get scared

Hi there - this is an information page about a “summer cold gone wild” in the U.S.

Recently a virus called EV-D68 has been making some headlines. I thought it might be a good idea to post some basic information and links here so people would have reference if they needed/wanted them.

EV-D68 is a type of virus called an “enterovirus”. Enteroviruses are common, and they’re actually the viruses responsible for what we call a “summer cold”. There isn’t just one virus that causes colds - there are a lot of them, and some are more common than others. EV-D68 is fairly rare (from 1960 until this year only 100 cases were reported), and that’s part of why the headlines are showing up - the virus is showing up in a lot more people than it normally does. Mercy Hospital recently cared for 475 children with the virus. That’s the other reason people are paying attention: EV-D68 mainly infects children with existing respiratory diseases.

The virus can start as just a cold. Signs include coughing, difficulty breathing and in some cases a rash. Sometimes they can be accompanied by fever or wheezing.

EV-D68 is airborne (it has been since first seen in 1960), and there is no vaccine for EV-D68. The virus itself isn’t considered deadly, and normally wouldn’t be this much of a concern, but in affected areas, children with asthma or other severe medical problems really should be taken to the hospital if they develop symptoms so that their breathing can be monitored.

I’m not a scaremonger, so I want to make it very, very clear:
No deaths have occurred from this outbreak. If someone you know (especially a child) gets sick with trouble breathing, just take them to the hospital so they can get breathing treatments.

These states have all had focused clusters of infection: Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky. The largest outbreak was in Missouri. This article has more information, and contains a second information link at the bottom for parents.

Here’s the most recent update from CNN, and I hope you’ll all be well.


You… you mean I’M GOING TO DIE!!! AAAAAAH!









:slight_smile: It’s nearly that response that prompted me to post. It was actually seeing one too many people responding this way on the news:

“You… you mean MY CHILD IS GOING TO DIE!?!?!?!?! AAAAAAH!”

Some people are getting really scared in states which have reasonably-sized outbreaks. There’s no vaccine, so you can’t prevent this illness except with good hygiene (wash those hands, kids!). I just figure that the best way to not be scared is to just have a little bit of good information, so why not get people a little bit of good information?

Ah, those were the good old days. Simple little viruses, like the flu.

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A jolly good game of Foot-And-Mouth out on the field as the sun sets, Shirts and Shingles for the teams, Mumps for goalposts.

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