Tips for Preventing or Minimizing Symptoms from Enterovirus D68

Several states including Colorado are seeing a surge in the number of children with a rare respiratory virus, Enterovirus D68.  



  • Mild to severe respiratory illness

  • Fever

  • Coughing

  • Other symptoms that mimic a bad cold


How the virus spreads:

The virus is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces. Some patients may be sick or coughing for a week or two. Children with asthma are at higher risk for complications from Enterovirus D68.


Avoid being infected:

  • Wash hands frequently

  • Avoid touching your face with your hands

  • Stay away from people who are coughing or otherwise showing signs of a respiratory infection

  • Avoid hugging, kissing or sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick

  • Disinfect surfaces such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick

  • Do not send children who are acutely ill with a fever to school

  • Asthma patients should take their daily controller medications

  • If asthma patients develop a respiratory infection, they should follow their asthma action plan and increase controller and rescue medications as needed

  • For asthma patients who don’t have an asthma action plan, work with your physician to develop one to help manage asthma

  • If asthma worsens, see a doctor earlier rather than later to avoid complications


Returning to school or work:

  • No fever for at least 24 hours

  • A significant decrease in cough

  • When they feel well enough to complete a school or work day, given that they had no fever for at least 24 hours and a significant decrease in their cough


This information has been approved by Pia Hauk, MD (September 2014).