Enterovirus and Ebola: Understanding the Basics

Every year there are numerous cases of enterovirus infections in the United States. An uncommon strain, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), has been reported in at least 47 states. With more than 100 known types, it is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Although the symptoms are usually mild for adults, they can severely affect children and those with weakened immune systems.

The Spotlight on EV-D68 

In August 2014, it was discovered that a number of children were infected with an uncommon type of enterovirus known as EV-D68. The virus spreads via respiratory secretions from coughing and sneezing. The symptoms of the virus are similar to the common cold and include:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing

EV-D68 has no specific treatment. Most symptoms cause mild discomfort and can be treated like a common cold. Children with a history of asthma tend to experience more severe symptoms. Any individuals, especially children, having difficulty breathing or experiencing muscle paralysis may receive intensive care. The best treatment is to take preventive measures, and if your child is sick, see your Summit Medical Group provider right away.

What about Ebola?

The deadly Ebola virus is highly contagious, but unlike EV-D68, it is not airborne. Here are some basics to know about this disease: The Ebola virus is believed to have originated from African bushmeat. Currently, the condition has primarily affected people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. More than half of those infected have died, making this the deadliest outbreak of Ebola. In order to be infected with Ebola, a person must come in direct contact with an infected person’s body fluids. Many current cases have been caused by people burying sick loved ones. Symptoms appear between two and 21 days after exposure and include headache, fever, aches/pains, nausea, vomiting, and eventually, hemorrhaging.

Sources: doh.wa.gov, nj.gov, afkpeds.org, cdc.gov, kingcounty.gov, cdc.gov, cdc.gov

When you or your child feels unwell, there's no need to delay getting medical attention.

Summit Express Clinics are open seven days/evenings a week with convenient locations near you.

Monday–Friday: Noon–8 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday: Noon–8 p.m.

LOCATIONS In the neighborhood? Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome at Summit Express Clinics.

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DEANE HILL 7211 Wellington Dr. (Lower Level) (865) 558-9822 FOUNTAIN CITY 103 Midlake Drive (Lower Level) (865) 687-7704 FARRAGUT 10820 Kingston Pike, Suite 11 (865) 671-6720