Enterovirus D68, a respiratory illness, has recently led to the hospitalization of hundreds of children nationwide. Prior reports included North Carolina in the list of states affected, but the N.C. Health Department and Center for Disease Control stated that there are no confirmed cases of D68 in North Carolina. However, since 12 states are reporting cases of the illness, North Carolinians should be diligent about preparing for a potential outbreak.
The virus is more dangerous to asthmatics and children, and these groups should see a doctor if they experience wheezing in addition to cold symptoms. Doctors recommend frequent hand washing; keeping hands away from the eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home if you’re sick as preventative measures against the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, there isn’t a vaccine available to prevent infection, but those affected by the enterovirus should stay home from work or school and get plenty of rest and fluids.