Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ebola? Enterovirus? How Can I Protect My Kids?

How CAN I protect my kids from enterovirus and ebola?!
Just as I was starting to get nervous about another bad winter here in the Northeast and getting my emergency supplies ready, now my area is getting hit with the enterovirus which has killed at least four children with a possible ebola epidemic lurking! HOW CAN I PROTECT MY KIDS?

Honestly, while ebola is so far only in Texas, my first concern is the enterovirus (EV-D68) which has, in fact, hit my state and which is causing our elementary school nurse to send kids home at the first sniffle. The enterovirus starts out like a common cold and can leave patients gasping for breath in a matter of hours (source: It's transmitted through bodily fluids when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes on, or touches another person or surface. There's no treatment for the virus itself and, according to my pediatrician, a doctor will treat the symptoms of the enterovirus which eventually clears up on its own. So what am I doing for my kids?

  • They both have Purell on their backpacks which they use as soon as they get out of school and, in Lily's case, gymnastics.
  • I'm reminding them to wash their hands constantly, especially my son, who is a nail biter.
  • Obviously, they are to avoid hugging or sharing food with anyone who is sick.
  • I'm constantly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like light switches, door knobs, etc. Can you say Lysol?

The good news about EV-D68 is that according to the Centers For Disease Control (, enterovirus cases are expected to decrease as we get deeper into Fall. Here's a great graphic from the CDC on how you can keep your child from getting and spreading the enterovirus:

What a great graphic about the enterovirus!

Now, as for ebola, while the government is trying to avoid public panic, I'm less concerned about it until it hits my state. Still, I love this graphic which was posted on Twitter by Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson who is the first registered nurse in Congress: 

Not sure I believe the bottom part, but here are the facts about ebola.

So how can I protect my kids from this stuff? By not panicking, taking whatever sensible measures I can (like reminding them to wash their hands and disinfecting common objects in the house), and praying. Sometimes, that's all a parent can do. 


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