What Are Common Symptoms of Enterovirus D68?

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The most common symptoms of Enterovirus D68 are fever, sneezing, running nose, cough, body aches. Some children will wheeze. Now the children that wheeze are typically children that wheeze already, so a child with asthma is more likely to wheeze with Enterovirus D68, although a child who has never wheezed also might wheeze with Enterovirus D68, and wheezing is something you don't want to ignore.

If your child seems to be having a noise coming from their lungs when they exhale that sounds like a high pitched sound, that is wheezing, and you might notice that your child is having more and more trouble breathing. That's something you want to get immediate attention for, you want to call your pediatrician right away.

If you can't reach them in a short amount of time then you want go get checked out, either go to your doctor's office or to the emergency department. Wheezing can be serious and it can worsen quickly. And we have specific treatments for wheezing, whether it's caused by asthma, or an Enterovirus, or the flu, we can treat wheezing quite effectively.

And we want to do that, because wheezing can spiral downward and in some very extreme cases children, may require mechanical ventilation if they're wheezing too terribly. So you want to pay attention to that. Now, another very very rare problem that we've seen with Enterovirus D68 is weakness, muscle weakness, limb weakness in children, this is extremely rare.

It's only been found in a few cases in Colorado that we are aware of. At this point we are of course monitoring nationwide for any child that develops weakness to see if it's linked to this virus. The weakness, as far as we know, cannot be prevented this is such a rare complication.

It's something that of course every parent's concerned about but there is nothing we can do to change the course of the virus if it's going to cause that. This virus is a cousin of a the polio virus. We cannot immunize against it, but polio virus has caused weakness in rare cases and so can this virus.

That's something that parents should not worry about too much but if they do think that their child is showing any weakness that is a cause for immediate care, and emergency department management.