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How Is the Enterovirus Affecting Children? | Children's Health | Health

How Is the Enterovirus Affecting Children?

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It seems that every year there is an illness that scares parents and kids alike, and this year we wonder about the enterovirus affecting children all over the world. As with any other illness, parents are on high alert because it is new to them and it’s in the media on a daily basis. Though this is a virus that has been around for years, it is scary because there is not much known about it amongst the population at large. Not only that, but it can also greatly affect the breathing of the individuals who suffer from it in a dramatic way. If your child has lung or breathing issues already, then it can be particularly scary. So understanding this disease and how it can affect children is extremely important.


Though it is not a new virus, many parents are pondering: How exactly is enterovirus affecting children? Understanding how it works is an important first step. This is a virus that usually presents with a high fever and cold-like symptoms. What sets this particular virus apart is that the breathing issues can become severe very quickly. So while the child may seem to have a common cold one day, the next they may have trouble breathing. You can even see the child trying to gasp for breath and may notice that his or her abdomen is rising and falling quickly. This can be alarming to all parents and particularly troubling if the child has asthma or any other breathing problems.


Awareness Helps All Involved

It’s particularly scary to think about enterovirus affecting children when we’re just heading into cold and flu season. What you should know is that this is a virus, and therefore there are no true preventative treatments. Washing hands and trying to stay away from germs is key, yet it may be very hard to do this in daycare or school. It’s good to know that, in many kids, even if this virus appears, it will act just like a bad cold. It is only if the child has allergy problems, asthma, or any sort of respiratory difficulties that it becomes a bigger issue. Parents should try to take comfort in the fact that there is help for it and that, in most kids, it will simply manifest like a common cold.


So, as you wonder about the specifics of enterovirus affecting children, know that it may be a very mild case in your own family. The breathing issues can be scary for parents and kids alike, but in many instances, the virus may not even present in this way. Do watch your kids and keep a particularly close eye on the breathing that they exhibit. Since there is heightened awareness of this condition in the news, parents are already on the lookout. If a child is affected by it, there are breathing treatments and ways of coping, which can be quite reassuring. Try to stay calm and know that it may not be a big issue for your family—and if it is, there is help to be found.