Recently you may have heard through the media about an outbreak of a respiratory virus in the midwest, and now with cases in the Metropolitan New York area. Enterovirus 68 (EV-68) is not a new virus. It was first identified in the 1960's. Most cases of EV-68 will act like a common cold with sneezing, coughing and a runny nose (with or without fever). Some children can develop a severe cough with difficulty breathing that may require hospitalization. The children at greatest risk are asthmatics and children with chronic lung disease. There is no specific treatment for this virus, but only supportive care (rest, fluids) and medication if needed for wheezing/asthma. The best prevention is good hand washing.
We know that the news media has been alarming, but please know that the vast majority of children with this virus do not end up in the hospital and recover without issue. If your child is ill with a cold, monitor their symptoms and if there is a worsening of symptoms , call us and make an appointment to be seen in the office, as you would for any other other respiratory infection.
For asthmatics, please make sure you have your rescue medicine (albuterol) available. If you need a refill or your medication has expired, contact our office's medication renewal line. Also, make sure you are taking all prescribed asthma maintenance medications as directed.