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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, Nursing Services

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.