You may have heard of enterovirus 68. It’s an especially aggressive strain of a common set of bugs that causes upper respiratory symptoms each fall in children and adults alike. The TMH Medical Clinic sees cases of enterovirus 68 and other upper respiratory viral infections every year.
Treating upper respiratory infections at home
Fall is a common time for viruses to make their way through communities, especially when school starts and lots of kids are together in one place. Common infections include croup, RSV, the common cold, and bugs like the enterovirus.
Common symptoms include stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, mild headache, fever early on, and feeling tired and ill.
With viral infections, the best treatment is still lots of liquids and rest. Most will run their course in 7 to 14 days.
“Run a humidifier or sit with your child in a steaming bathroom throughout the day. With babies, use a bulb syringe along with saline drops to clear mucus. Babies younger than 6 months haven’t developed the skill to breathe through their mouths yet, so they need help,” A TMH provider advises.
When to call your doctor or go in
“A telltale sign that you should bring your child in for a visit is a lasting fever. A temperature of 100.4 is considered a fever. Fevers are common during the first 72 hours of an illness, but if they last longer than that, or start after 3 to 4 days of illness, it can mean a secondary infection,” States a TMH provider.
Another signal that you need to see your doctor is if your child is having trouble breathing. Signs that young children are having difficulty breathing is an inability to suck a bottle, rapid breathing, retractions—pulling in their stomachs underneath their rib cage—and wheezing.
“I advise parents of babies to use the bulb syringe up to five times a day. If that is not alleviating symptoms, seek medical care even in the middle of the night,” she states.
TMH Suction Clinic clears mucus for babies
TMH offers a suction clinic for babies for just these times. A respiratory therapist evaluates your child’s breathing then uses a special tool to remove mucus from their nose—getting out much more than a bulb syringe can. The suction clinic is open 24/7 and can be used up to four times a day for a week on one doctor’s prescription. For more information on the suction clinic, call 824-9411. The cost of $128 can be charged to insurance