As of Wednesday, Minnesota does have a confirmed case of Enterovirus D68 and parents are all wondering what is this "mystery" illness and what should we be watching for. 

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota put together some great info on the facts, even saying, this isn't a mystery illness. We see this every fall, it's just that this year it's causing more wheezing/asthmatic symptoms. It's a common cold like condition but can cause complications for some people.

Here's the rundown:

What is Enterovirus D68?

Enterovirus D68 is one of many enteroviruses. EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. It first was identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the U.S. in the past 40 years. There have been no known deaths due to the 2014 virus.

Is there a vaccine?


Who is most at risk?

Infants, children and teens.

How can I protect myself and my children?

  • Superb hand hygiene is important. Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you’re ill.

When should I bring my child in?

Patsy Stinchfield, Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease for Children's gave this advice:

  1. If symptoms are mild, such as common cold, parents should do what they normally do with a sick child – increase his or her fluids, rest, keep home from school, give fever- and pain-reducing medicines.
  2. If symptoms are moderate, such as cold symptoms worsening or not getting better within a week, or new wheezing begins, take your child to your clinic.
  3. If at any time your child is having difficulty breathing or you are seeing blue lips or they are gasping for air, take him or her to the closest emergency room. 

For more you can check out Children's Mighty Kid Blog.

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