Just as I was starting to get nervous about another bad winter here in the Northeast and getting my emergency supplies ready), now New Jersey is getting hit with the enterovirus which has killed at least four children in other states with a possible ebola epidemic just a plane ride away! HOW CAN I PROTECT MY KIDS?
Honestly, while ebola is so far only in Texas, my first concern is the enterovirus (EV-D68) which has, in fact, hit my area and is causing our elementary school nurse to send kids home at the first sniffle. EV-D68 starts out like a common cold and can leave patients gasping for breath in a matter of hours (source: www.vanguardmedicalgroup.com). It’s transmitted through bodily functions when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes on, or touches another person or surface. There’s no treatment for the virus itself and, according to my pediatrician, a doctor will treat the symptoms of the virus which eventually clears up on its own. So what am I doing for my kids?
- They both have Purell on their backpacks which they use as soon as they get out of school and, in my daughter’s case, gymnastics.
- I’m reminding them to wash their hands constantly, especially my son who is a nail biter.
- Obviously, they are to avoid hugging or sharing food with anyone who is sick.
- I’m constantly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like light switches, door knobs, etc. Can you say Lysol?
The good news about EV-D68 is that according to the Centers For Disease Control (www.cdc.gov), enterovirus cases are expected to decrease as we get deeper into Fall. Still, I’m happy that our local hospital is only five minutes away.
Now, as for ebola, while the government is trying to avoid public panic, I’m less concerned about it until it hits New Jersey, but am comforted by the fact that according to the CDC you can’t contract ebola through direct bodily fluid contact with someone who already has it. God bless those healthcare workers who are at risk!
So how can I protect my kids from this stuff? By not panicking, taking whatever sensible measures I can (like reminding them to wash their hands and disinfecting common objects in the house), and praying. Sometimes, that’s all a parent can do.