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Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

Condition Basics

What is an enterovirus D68 infection?

Enterovirus D68 is an infection in the lungs and breathing passages (respiratory system). It is caused by a virus called enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). This is one of many kinds of enteroviruses.

Enterovirus infections usually cause mild, cold-like symptoms. But an EV-D68 infection can be more serious. This is especially true for people with breathing problems such as asthma. In rare cases, the infection can lead to other illnesses such as meningitis or acute flaccid myelitis.

What are the symptoms?

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) can cause mild to severe cold- or flu-like symptoms.

Typical symptoms may include:

  • Fever.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Cough.
  • Body and muscle aches.

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Wheezing and trouble breathing.

How is it diagnosed?

If your doctor thinks that you may have an enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection, you will get a physical exam and be asked questions about your symptoms and past health.

Your doctor may do a nasal swab or blood tests to detect EV-D68. It may take some time to get the results. You may get treated before a test is done or before you know the results.

How is an enterovirus D68 infection treated?

The main treatment for most enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections is to relieve symptoms. There are no medicines to cure the infection. And because the infection is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won't help.

If you are having trouble breathing or have severe symptoms, you may need to be treated in the hospital. This may include getting oxygen, fluids through a vein (I.V.), and help breathing.

How can you help prevent an infection?

Wash your hands regularly. Keep your hands away from your face.

Stay home from school, work, and other public places until you are feeling better. A good guide is to wait for 24 hours after a fever is gone before you go back to your regular activities.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.


Current as of: June 13, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
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