We’re now hearing that more states have been reporting cases of the Enterovirus D68, the virus that has been sending many children to the hospital due to complications. This article discusses symptoms to watch and how you can protect your family.
What is Enterovirus D68?
The symptoms caused by the virus start out similar to cold: sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing. Many cases turn out fine, and the sufferer recovers on his or her own. However, a percentage of cases develop complications, such as trouble breathing. According to the CDC, the virus had not been very common in the past. IN recent weeks, many states such as Missouri, Illinois, Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, etc. have been reporting that hospitals’ emergency rooms are full of patients with respiratory problems. The virus especially affects babies, children, and teenagers. Children with asthma are most at risk.
Just like the common cold, there is no specific way to treat patients afflicted by Enterovirus D68; you can only relieve the symptoms by taking over the counter remedies such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprophen). If symptoms worsen and the person has trouble breathing, see a doctor as soon as possible or go to the nearest emergency room.
Prevention is the best way to protect yourself and your family. (Note: I am not a medical professional – these are steps I personally take to keep from getting sick. If you are unsure and need personalized advice, see a doctor or medical practitioner.)
Avoid crowds Being among lots of people increases your chances of getting contaminated.
Frequent handwashing Get everyone in the family in the habit of washing their hands as they come home from public places and before eating. If you cannot wash your hands right away, use antibacterial wipes.
Stop touching your eyes and face It is very hard to keep kids from touching their faces, but you have to try to teach them this lesson.
Disinfect surfaces around you Keep a box of antibacterial wipes and clean door knobs, light switches and other commonly touched items around you. Keep a canister of Lysol wipes at the office and disinfect your desk, keyboard and phone on a regular basis.
Stay home if you are sick Avoid going to work or sending the kids to school if you notice any symptoms. Staying home and getting plenty of rest will not only help with recovery but also prevent spreading germs.
Bolster your Immune System
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Relax and avoid stress.
- Exercise at least three to four days a week.
- Eat a healthy diet. Avoid eating processed foods too frequently. Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your menus. Take vitamin supplements if you feel you don’t eat well enough.
What to stock up
You hope no one in your household catches anything but keeping a few items in your emergency kit will help you avoid having to go to the store if someone does get sick:
- Over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil as well children’s versions of these remedies
- Extra boxes of tissues
- Cough drops
- Canned juices
- Apple cider vinegar – This home remedy has helped me prevent several colds since I first tried it.
- Canned chicken soup – I know home made is best, but sometimes you just feel too sick to make anything and canned chicken noodle soup will do in a pinch.
- Eucalyptus essential oil - Eucalyptus oil relieves congestion in a pleasant way. Just add a few drops to a warm,moist wash cloth and breath in. In an upcoming article, I will discuss some really effective essential oils that can be added to your home’s emergency kit.
© Apartment Prepper 2014