How Can I Tell If My Child has Enterovirus D68, Versus a Cold or the Flu?

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You know a lot of parents are concerned with the difference between anti virus D 68 versus the cold of the flu and the fact is that the symptoms are very similar. So, it's fever cough, running nose, body aches and in severe cases whizzing or difficulty breathing. For us as doctors, the difference really isn't that critical because we are going to treat the symptoms.

So, as a parent, you need to be concerned with how your child is feeling, that reverses which virus might be causing those feelings. If a child has a fever, and it's getting worse and you're concerned, the first thing to do is to call your pediatrician. Always, your first line is your pediatrician, give him a call, tell what you're concerned about, and they will direct you, about whether you need to come to the office, or go to the emergency department, or simply treat those symptoms at home.

But as a parent, the most important thing is to trust your gut. If you're super worried, no matter what your pediatrician says, you're looking at your child at home. So, if really worried, go to the emergency department because that's we're there for. We'll be happy to evaluate your child, see what it is, and give the best care possible.

Now, in the emergency department they may not test for Enterovirus D 68, and the reason is that unless the child ends up in a terrible condition, and we hope that never happens. It is not critical to the health care community to know exactly which virus is causing the symptoms.

Hundreds of viruses can cause the symptoms of fever, cough, running nose, body aches, so generally we don't test for it because it is not important to us to know, what is important is how's your child feeling, if they're getting worse, and there is treatment we need to give. To help them feel better.