Enterovirus in Infants

The Enterovirus In Infants: What SmartMoms Need To Know

Photo by Sweet Root

Here at SmartMom we have been hearing so much about the enterovirus in infants, and you may be having the same experience. In case you haven’t, the Enterovirus D68 or EV-D68 has been putting hundreds of kids in the hospital across the U.S.  Although the virus is just now making headlines, it’s not a new virus.  It is just very rare.  Since it was discovered in the 1960s, there have been less than 100 recorded cases in the U.S.

So, if you’re like me, you may have seen the reports and been scratching your head.  So…the symptoms are the same symptoms of the common cold…so…do I like, drive to the hospital if my kid has a runny nose? Here’s some help:

How Do I Know if My Child Has It?

 Symptoms are similar to that of the common cold – sneezing, runny nose, and cough. Sound pretty standard and non-threatening right?  Well, for most children who catch this, that’s all it will ever be.  Some, however, develop a severe cough, have trouble breathing, develop a rash, and may have a fever or start wheezing.

So…If It’s Just Like a Cold, Why Should Anyone Be Worried?

 Although it’s mild in most children and you’re likely to not to bat an eye if your kid wakes up with a runny nose, full-blown Entero-Virus can be serious.  Some red flags to watch out for are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Trouble breathing

Also, keep in mind, infants and children who have asthma are much more susceptible to developing a more severe case.

Ok – My Child Has Been Diagnosed with EV-D68 – So, What’s The Treatment?

 There’s no treatment.  Just like when they have a cold, you’ll want them to get lots of fluids and rest.  If your infant comes down with it, unfortunately they won’t be able to take cold medicine, because they’re too young.  You can, however, put a humidifier in their room, keep their nose free of boogies with a nasal aspirator, and give them lots of extra snuggles (silver lining).

 It Sounds Like No Big Deal, So Why Are Kids Being Hospitalized?

Well, although it’s typically mild, infants and children are particularly susceptible because they haven’t built up an immune system, so their bodies have a harder time fighting it off.

 How Can I Protect My Kid?

Keep their hands washed.  Keep them away from sickies.  Just do the same thing you’d do to keep them from catching a cold.

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About Scarlet Hiltibidal

Scarlet has written for and managed various publications - her articles reaching over 38 million readers. She has a degree in counseling and worked as a 4th grade teacher before entering the media realm. Currently, she writes for Smart Mom and is also writing children's curriculum for a church in Miami. Her favorite things to do are tell her husband every thought that crosses her mind, play with her two little girls, and connect with other moms on the SmartMom app! Visit her blog at scarlethiltibidal.com and follow her on Twitter @ScarletEH.