Enterovirus D68 is responsible for respiratory infections. Enterovirus D68 spreads through from person to person via contact. Enterovirus D68 commonly referred to as EV-D68 is a member of a larger group of viruses known as enteroviruses. Different types of enteroviruses have affected millions of people all over the world.EV-D68 was first acknowledged in children having bronchiolitis and pneumonia, an airways infection. Only very few cases of EV-D68 infection have been identified since then, but in the past five years, outbreaks have occurred in Philippines, Japan Netherlands United States and Canada.EV-D68 is mainly linked with respiratory disease and having similarity with human rhinovirus.
What is Enterovirus D68?
Enterovirus: A virus that comes in the body through the gastrointestinal tract and blooms there, often moving on to assault the nervous system. The polioviruses are enteroviruses. In addition to this, there are a number of non-polio enteroviruses like Echoviruses, Coxsackieviruses (Coxsackie A viruses and Coxsackie B viruses), Enterovirus D68 that may cause disease in humans. Enteroviruses D68;a member of the Picornaviridae family are the small non enveloped viruses made of protein and ribonucleic acid (RNA) that can be found in the respiratory secretions (sputum, saliva or nasal mucus) and stool of infected person. Enterovirus D68 are acid labile and display lower optimum growth temperature that are the characteristic features of the human rhino viruses.
What are the symptoms of Enterovirus infections?
Enteroviruses infections are most likely to occur in the summer and fall.The Enterovirus infection may spread from one person to other through direct contact with secretions from an infected person or with contaminated surfaces or objects of daily uses like a drinking glass or telephone. Parents and child-care-center workers may be infected by contamination of the hands with stool of an infected infant during diaper changes.The signs and symptoms of Enterovirus infection are as below:
• EV-D68 exclusively causes respiratory infections that vary from mild to severe. Initial symptoms are similar to the common cold, and the individual may feel the sore throat, cough, and fever, a runny nose. As the disease progresses, more severe symptoms appear like difficult in breathing as in pneumonia, a decrease in urine production, reduced alertness, dehydration.In later stages, it may lead to respiratory failure.
• muscle aches
• Illness with rash
• Infection may affect the brain (encephalitis) and heart (myocarditis) and can cause paralysis. Prevention and treatment ofEnterovirus D68 infection Though there are no long term complications from the condition, patients having paralysis or encephalitis as consequence do not recover fully, so the prevention of Enterovirus D68 infection is critical.The following common preventive measures can be followed in order to avoid the infections:
• Avoid sharing cups or eating utensils, kissing, hugging with those who are infected.
• Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Disinfect surfaces quickly touched by sick person.
• Wash your hand properly before and after eating and especially after coming from the public place. Use a hand sanitizer if soap or water is unavailable. There is no particular treatment or vaccine for the enteroviruses, aside from poliovirus. The treatment is directed for symptomatic relief.The person can take over the counter medications like Acetaminophen to get relief from fever.The wheezing and various respiratory issues can be resolved by oxygen therapy or proper medication. A study in the year 2015 has exposed the antiviral drug pleconaril that may be useful for the treatment of EV-D68.
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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend “avoiding those who are sick.”2. Avoidance of the infected person is the best preventive measure of an infectious disease so take all necessary action to keep away yourself from Enterovirus D68 infections.