While there have been no reports of then Enterovirus D68 in the immediate area, local health professionals are keeping track of the latest developments of the new outbreak, which is spreading through the country. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Iowa Department of Public Health, enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, is one of over 100 non-polio enteroviruses that infect 10 to 15 million people each year in the United States. These types of outbreak seems to be more common in the summer and fall. Symptoms of EV-D68 will vary from mild to severe respiratory illness. Respiratory symptoms such as coughing and wheezing come on quickly. Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms may include difficulty breathing and wheezing. Those with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy. Infants, children, and teenagers with a history of asthma or those who have a condition that compromises their immune system, are most likely to become severely ill. Though, anyone is able to get the virus. There is no specific treatment, such as an anti-viral medication. For mild respiratory illness, you can relieve pain and fever with over-the-counter medications. Remember not to give aspirin to children. Parents of children with cold-like symptoms that experience difficulty breathing should contact their health care provider. Although many infections resolve on their own, drinking plenty of fluids, rest, staying at home so as not to spread the virus to others and frequent cleaning of hard surfaces in the home will help. According to Palo Alto County Public Health Services, ways to prevent the spread of the virus, which is believed to spread person-to-person, are quite simple. Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. Also disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick. Again, there is no vaccine for the virus. The CDC is working with state and local health departments and clinical and state laboratories to improve the ability to identify and investigate outbreaks.
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