What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68
Children with asthma
are particularly at risk
for severe symptoms
from EV-D68 infection.
Every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing,
sneezing, and fever. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in
children across the country is enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68). Parents should learn more about EV-D68
so that they can help keep their children from getting and spreading the virus.
Infections with enteroviruses are usually common in the United
States during summer and fall. This year, beginning in mid-August,
states started seeing more children in hospitals with severe
respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Since then, CDC and states have
been doing more testing, and have found that EV-D68 is making
people sick in almost all states. Most of the cases have been among
children. EV-D68 is not new, but it hasn’t been as common in the
past. While this has been a big year for EV-D68 infections, CDC
expects the number of cases to taper off by late fall.
Children are at higher risk for EV-D68
Infants, children, and teenagers are at higher risk than adults for
getting infected and sick with enteroviruses like EV-D68. That’s
because they have not been exposed to these types of viruses before,
and they do not yet have immunity (protection) built up to fight the
disease. If your child has asthma, he or she may be at greater risk for
severe respiratory illness from EV-D68.
Know the signs of symptoms of EV-D68
EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness.
Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough,
and body and muscle aches.
Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Call your child’s doctor if he or she is having difficulty breathing, if
you feel you are unable to control their symptoms, or if symptoms
are getting worse. If your child develops severe illness, he or she may
need to be hospitalized.
Help protect your family from EV-D68
To help avoid getting and spreading EV-D68, parents and children should always follow basic steps to
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important
thing you can do to stay healthy.
Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school.