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Kids with asthma at greatest risk from EV-D68 Special

By Tim Sandle     Sep 18, 2014 in Health
Toronto - Parents of children with asthma should ensure that their asthma is well controlled to avoid potential complications from contact with the respiratory virus EV-D68, according to the Ontario Lung Association.
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been making headlines across North America. The virus causes heightened problems for people who suffer from asthma. This is a similar type of virus as the virus that causes polio, although it is important to stress that most enterovirus infections are relatively harmless for people with healthy lung function. Cases of the rare enterovirus have been confirmed in Alberta and are suspected at a hospital in Windsor.
To find out more, Digital Journal spoke with Dr. Sharon Dell, a respirologist at Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital. Dr. Dell offers the following advice to concerned parents: “Most of the patients being hospitalized with acute symptoms associated with the respiratory enterovirus are children with asthma. We strongly advise parents to closely monitor their child’s asthma to ensure that it is under control. Make sure they are taking their controller medication and following their asthma management plan. If you suspect that your child’s asthma is not well controlled, see your health-care provider.”
To protect against the disease, Dr. Dell suggests the following:
Wash hands regularly especially when in public or when you are with a person who is sick. Use plenty of soapy water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. If there is no easy access to a sink, use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your face before washing your hands.
Clean common areas of your home often - e.g., doorknobs, counters, computers.
To reduce exposure to viruses, avoid crowded places and people who are sick.
Sneeze and cough into your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw it away right after use and wash your hands.
Get the flu shot this fall.
With further preventative measures, the doctor adds: “Although there is no specific treatment for EV-D68, see your health care provider if you have any concerns. If you have a lung condition, be extra diligent in managing it well. Avoid your triggers and take your medicines as prescribed. Follow a written action plan from your health-care provider.”
Dr Dell says that an action plan is important; and such a plan can help parents to decide:
1. What steps to take when your condition is under control
2. What steps to take when there are changes to your symptoms.
The Ontario Lung Association is a registered charity that assists, educates and empowers individuals living with or caring for others with lung disease. The Lung Association provides programs and services to patients and health-care providers, invests in lung research and campaigns for improved policies on lung health.
More about Asthma, Virus, EVD68, Enterovirus
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