Safety and Wellness

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

What is enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)?

Enteroviruses are common viruses that can cause respiratory illness, fever and rash. Other mild symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms may include trouble breathing and wheezing. Infants, children and teenagers are most likely to get infected and become sick. People with asthma also may have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

EV-D68, one type of enterovirus, has previously been rare in the U.S.

How can enterovirus D68 infection be prevented?

There is no vaccine for enterovirus infections. These tips help prevent the risk for infection

  • Wash your own and your child’s hands often with soap and warm water. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Children should sing their ABCs twice in a row while washing their hands to ensure the proper length of time.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Stay home from daycare, school or work when sick. If fever is present, stay home while sick and for at least one day after there is no longer fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Cover noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing: use tissue or the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away in a covered trash bin.
  • Remind children to keep their hands away from their face to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean surfaces often, including toys, doorknobs, phone receivers and keyboards.
  • Avoid sharing personal items, such as forks, spoons, toothbrushes and towels.
  • People with asthma should make sure their asthma symptoms are under control. Seek medical help right away if a child with asthma has trouble breathing and worsening respiratory symptoms that do not improve as expected with their usual medicines.

When should my child see the doctor?

People with mild enterovirus infections do not need to see a doctor and do not need to be tested. Use the same judgement as usual to decide if your child should see a doctor. You know your child best. If your child doesn’t look or seem right, please talk with your child’s doctor.

Anyone having a hard time breathing or who appears seriously ill should be evaluated by a healthcare provider immediately. Seek medical help right away if a child with asthma has trouble breathing and worsening respiratory symptoms that do not improve as expected with their usual medicines.

How can I treat cold-like symptoms at home?

Visit our Symptom Checker for how to treat colds, cough, fever and other symptoms.

    Where can I learn more?

    For information on when a child with asthma should see a doctor, please visit “Asthma Attack: Should Your Child See a Doctor.” For more information about enterovirus EV-D68, please visit the Public Health-Seattle & King County and CDC websites or contact your child’s doctor.