Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home News Prevention is the Best Medicine When Facing Enterovirus D-68

Prevention is the Best Medicine When Facing Enterovirus D-68

E-mail Print PDF

With recent cases of the respiratory illness enterovirus D-68 being reported in multiple states within the U.S., our doctors want to make sure that all the members of the military community are informed and safe when confronting this illness. Remember, if the proper precautions and prevention methods are followed, this illness should have little effect on our Department of Defense Education Activity schools and families.

Enterovirus D-68 is spread like most common colds - through making contact with surfaces or objects that an infected person has coughed on, sneezed on or touched. Also like a cold, we have yet to create any effective vaccines or antiviral medications to fight or prevent it, so early detection and care are vital to treatment.

Since enterovirus D-68 primarily affects children sixteen weeks to sixteen years of age, parents and teachers at our Department of Defense schools should pay close attention to all of their kids. The most common symptoms to watch for are traces of a cold or respiratory illness like a fever, runny nose or cough. Be aware that among children with asthma, though uncommon, the presence of wheezing or difficulty breathing should be brought to the attention of a local Military Treatment Facility or emergency room.

If teachers and parents are vigilant in reporting any cases to their school administrators and Military Treatment Facilities, and implement the following Department of Defense prevention guidelines in their schools and homes, we can all ensure that our military children stay as safe as possible:

  • Keep children and staff members home if they feel unwell;
  • Cover mouth (tissue or sleeve) when sneezing or coughing and promptly dispose of the used tissues;
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds -particularly after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one's nose, and after going to the bathroom and changing diapers, and before eating;
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are regularly touched by different people, including changing tables and toys;
  • Avoid shaking hands, kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils, especially with children or staff who are sick

For more information on enterovirus D-68, there are numerous guides and fact sheets that can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website.

Read More

Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.