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What you should know about Enterovirus 68

Recent reports in the Denver metro area and in other cities across the country have shown an increase in pediatric patients with severe respiratory illness and asthma complications. Initial testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates this may be caused by human enterovirus 68, an uncommon respiratory viral pathogen. 

According to Sky Ridge Medical Center physicians, parents should be vigilant and ensure that their children are taking their asthma controlling medications. It is also critical to reinforce good hand and respiratory hygiene:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Dispose of the tissue in the nearest waste receptacle after use
  • Wash hands thoroughly with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub or antiseptic hand wash after sneezing or coughing

If breathing becomes labored, seek medical attention.

READ MORE: Enterovirus Questions and Answers from the Colorado Department of Education

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children / HealthOneThe 411 on Enterovirus 68

From our partners at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and HealthONE

What is it?

Enterovirus 68 is a respiratory illness that starts with symptoms similar to the common cold, but rapidly progresses to wheezing and difficulty breathing. The virus is related to rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.

As with other respiratory viruses, any child with asthma or other chronic illnesses is more susceptible. The virus has been reported to cause wheezing even in children who do not have asthma.

How does it spread?

Enterovirus is spread through contact with others (often via coughing and sneezing), so avoiding people who are sick and washing hands frequently are important steps in prevention. It is important for parents to be aware of the illness and seek medical care should their children develop wheezing. Remember: antibiotics don't work on viruses.

What should you do?

Prevention is key! Be extra vigilant especially if your child has a cold. 

Parents of children with asthma need to get them on their inhalers, enforce routine hand washing and help them avoid sick people.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when feeling sick and obtain consultation from your health care provider.

 Sources: Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at HealthONE and CDC

September 9, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District, Health Services

District News

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DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

How are we doing?

We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

Tell us what you think, here!


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It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.