The Middlesex County Department of Public Safety and Health is encouraging residents to take extra preventative measures against Enterovirus D68 this cold and flu season, especially where children are involved.
Enterovirus D68 is a viral respiratory infection found in children. While this virus has not yet posed a serious threat to our area, proper preventive precautions can eliminate the virus from spreading.
The County sent a letter out containing a sheet of necessary facts and information regarding the Enterovirus D68. This information will be disseminated to all Middlesex County Schools through the Middlesex County Superintendent of Schools Office.
“While there have been no confirmed cases yet in our County, we want to be proactive to help combat this virus before it spreads in our schools and communities,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, chair of the County’s Public Safety and Health Committee. “We want parents to be properly informed about prevention, symptoms and treatment.”
“We are very appreciative of the effort being put forth to communicate and educate our families about prevention,” said Dr. Laura Morana, Interim Executive County Superintendent. “If families have any questions please work with your child’s school to address these issues.”
“Enterovirus is a common virus seen in summer and fall in the U.S.,” said Dr. Chistopher Haines, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Specialized Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “Enterovirus D68 is causing mild to severe illness in young to adolescent children, typically severe illnesses occur in children with underlying respiratory problems such as asthma. The key to prevention is hand washing, not sharing cups or utensils and not going to school when symptomatic.”
You can protect yourself from these types of respiratory illnesses by following the recommended steps:
• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
• Stay home if you are ill.
• If you or a family member has severe respiratory symptoms, contact your physician and follow his or her advice.
“Middlesex County has been working with the State, local health departments, hospitals, medical providers and schools to provide information about this virus in numerous formats including email and website updates and other health alerts,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “By staying informed and taking preventative measures, we can all do our part to controlling Enterovirus D68.”
For more information please call the Middlesex County Office of Health Services at 732-745-3100.