Non-polio enteroviruses are very common viruses, causing 10 – 15 million infections in the United States each year. Anyone can get infected with non-polio enteroviruses, but infants, children, and teenagers are more likely to get infected and become sick. That's because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to the viruses.
The DC Department of Health has received a number of calls
from schools and parents regarding the Enterovirus D68 (EV-
D68). The following
letters provide information about the infection and offers guidances to reduce the risk of your child becoming infected. Read the letter distribute to parents and guardians.
Most people who get infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick or they may have mild illness like the common cold. Some people can get very sick and have infection of their heart or brain or even become paralyzed. Infants and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of having these complications.
You can get infected with non-polio enteroviruses by having close contact with an infected person. You can also get infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with non-polio enteroviruses in the summer and fall.
Symptoms of mild illness may include:
Some non-polio enterovirus infections can cause:
Less commonly, a person may develop:
Non-polio enteroviruses can be found in an infected person's:
You can get exposed to the virus by:
Non-polio enterovirus can be shed (passed from a person's body into the environment) in your stool for several weeks after infection. The virus can be shed from your respiratory tract for 1 – 3 weeks. Infected people can shed the virus even if they don't have symptoms.
There is no vaccine to protect you from non-polio enterovirus infection. Since many infected people do not have symptoms, it is difficult to prevent non-polio enteroviruses from spreading.
You can help protect yourself and others from non-polio enterovirus infections by:
There is no specific treatment for non-polio enterovirus infection. People with mild illness caused by non-polio enterovirus infection typically only need symptom treatment. They usually recover completely. However, some illnesses caused by non-polio enteroviruses can be severe enough to require hospitalization.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should contact your health care provider.
More information is available at the following resources