October 24, 2014 – : Wash Hands


Anchor lead:  There are strategies to employ to avoid enterovirus infection, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Two toddlers have died so far as enterovirus 68 sweeps the US.  Even as concerns about Ebola virus escalate domestically, parents especially are concerned about enterovirus infecting their children. Anna Minta, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says simple strategies to avoid infection work.

Minta: The main thing is prevention, so this virus is spread by respiratory droplets so you should make sure to wash your hands  frequently, if you feel sick stay away from other people, make sure to cough into your sleeve, teach children about the importance of handwashing, and if your child is sick keep him away from other children.  :17

Minta says it’s worth remembering that severe symptoms and even death are seen every year with the flu and other illnesses.

Minta: All viruses can cause a variety of symptoms from very mild to up to and including mortality.  We see a spectrum of illness from every virus that we see every year.   :10

Minta reminds parents that if their child develops wheezing or has trouble breathing, or becomes lethargic or unresponsive, seeking medical attention promptly is best.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.