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What You Need to Know about Enterovirus D68

Nov. 2014

A handful of cases of the enterovirus EV-D68, a respiratory disease that mostly affects children, have been confirmed in Tennessee. We know you may be concerned, and we want you to have the facts about the virus – and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

How to Get Help

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have EV-D68, visit your primary care physician or contact your local health department for further guidance. For residents of Tennessee, contact the Tennessee Department of Health at 615-741-7247.

Contact Your Doctor

What is an enterovirus 68 infection?

Enterovirus 68 is an infection in the lungs and breathing passages (respiratory system). It is caused by a virus called enterovirus 68 (EV-D68). This is one of many kinds of enteroviruses.

Enterovirus infections usually cause mild, cold-like symptoms. But an enterovirus 68 infection can be more serious, especially in people with breathing problems such as asthma.

Learn more at the Healthwise® Knowledgebase

What are the symptoms of an enterovirus 68 infection?

Enterovirus 68 (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.

Learn more at the Healthwise® Knowledgebase

How is enterovirus 68 diagnosed?

If your doctor thinks that you may have an enterovirus 68 (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 68. It may take some time to get the results. You may get treated before a test is done or before you know the results.

Learn more at the Healthwise® Knowledgebase

How is an enterovirus 68 infection treated?

The main treatment for most enterovirus 68 (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.

Learn more at the Healthwise® Knowledgebase

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.

Learn more at the Healthwise® Knowledgebase

What We Are Doing

  • We're working with key state and federal health officials, provider organizations and others to monitor reports of infectious diseases including EV-D68.
  • We follow information and guidance from the CDC and receive alerts for any newly acquired information and updates. 
  • We’re in contact with officials at the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) and local health departments, when appropriate. TDOH also collaborates with medical providers, hospitals, laboratories and professional organizations statewide on the latest information, guidelines and coordinated response.

Description: lick here to learn about HealthwiseThis information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Healthwise is a URAC accredited health web site content provider. Privacy PolicyHow this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more, visit Healthwise.org

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