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Protecting Our Long-Term Care Residents Against Enterovirus

With an increase in viral illness being reported locally, and clusters of enterovirus EV-D68 growing across WV, Princeton Health Care is protecting its residents of the long-term care facility by limiting visitors to only those who are healthy.

Princeton Health Care Center’s physician and infection control preventionist have carefully reviewed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. After this careful consideration, the decision has been made to limit visitors to only those who are healthy until further notice.

We are seeing an increase in respiratory illness in the region. Implementing our visitor limitations helps to protect our residents who may already be facing medical challenges.

Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types. Most people infected with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious. Infants, children and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become sick. Most enterovirus infections in the United States occur seasonally during the summer and fall.

Specifically, EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness including wheezing, difficulty breathing, hypoxia, fever and racing heart rate. EV-D68, like other enteroviruses, appears to spread through close contact with infected people. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections. Many infections require only treatment of the symptoms. Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy. No anti-viral medications are currently available for treating Enterovirus-68 infections. There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.

As with the flu and other viruses, general hygiene precautions can help reduce the risk of getting ill. Handwashing is key. Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. And, disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.


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