Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) Guidelines for Schools/Day Care Settings
Since August of 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported and investigated on a nationwide outbreak of respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68), mostly affecting children. EV-D68 appears to be the predominant type of enterovirus this year and may be contributing to the increases in severe respiratory illnesses being seen. EV-D68 is circulating in Rhode Island as well.
Enteroviruses are very common viruses and there are more than 100 known types. More than 10 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year, mostly in the summer and fall. EV-D68 infections, like other enterovirus strains, generally cause mild respiratory illness. Some individuals experience serious illness, especially children with underlying illnesses and asthma. Most children recover from EV-D68 completely; however, serious complications may occur on rare occasions.
EV-D68 is found in respiratory droplets and illness spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a contaminated surface.
There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections; there are no currently available antiviral medications and there is no vaccine.
Many other viruses circulating now in the United States can cause respiratory illness. Not all clusters or outbreaks of respiratory illness are due to EV-D68.
The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is providing the following guidance for schools/day care, and other settings where children congregate:
The best way to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness is to promote good hand hygiene and standard infection control practices. Especially throughout flu season, continue to share these standard prevention messages:
Refer to and/or share the following resources with students, staff and parents:
For questions or concerns, school nurses and/or administrators may call the HEALTH Division of Infectious Disease & Epidemiology at (401) 222-5960.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze. Cough into your elbow, not hands.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact, kissing, hugging, sharing cups, food, or eating utensils with people who are sick, or when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs and keyboards.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- If you have asthma, follow your asthma care plan, and call your doctor if you are sick.
- Get a flu vaccine.
HEALTH News and Press Releases: www.health.ri.gov/news/
HEALTH News and Alerts for Healthcare Providers: www.health.ri.gov/news/for/providers/index.php