As Enterovirus (EV-D68) continues to spread to new areas around the US and Washington State, Deer Park Schools would like to enlist your help in limiting its spread in our region. It’s important to understand that Enteroviruses are very common viruses with over 100 types; that said, the EV-D68 type has previously been uncommon in the U.S.  From mid-August to September 24th, 2014, a total of 220 people from 30 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. As of Thursday, Sept. 25, the Spokane Regional Health District reports that there are still no confirmed cases of EV-D68 in Spokane County.

The Center for Disease Control has stated that symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Symptoms can become more serious with difficulty in breathing and wheezing, especially in children with asthma. Transmission of the virus is believed to be through respiratory secretions, nasal mucous, or saliva. The virus is likely spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches surfaces that have been contaminated. Again, the EV-D68 strain is not new, but rarely seen and only a small number of labs can test for it. A spike in cases was first identified in mid-August. At this time, there is no vaccine or antiviral medication available for EV-D68 infection.

  • Preventive measures include:
  • diligent hand washing,
  • the avoidance of touching the eyes, nose, and mouth,
  • not sharing drinking cups or utensils with other people
  • avoidance of close personal contact if someone is sick
  • disinfecting door knobs, light switches, and toys
  • keeping children at home if they are sick, especially if they have symptoms of respiratory illness

Information has been provided to district teachers and staff regarding the signs and symptoms of Enterovirus and its mode of transmission. At each school, teachers will follow standard protocol and send students to the health room who show signs of illness. The nursing staff will carefully assess students for the potential of having a contagious illness and advise exclusion from school as needed. At this time there is no cause for alarm, yet we feel it is important to share information regarding this diagnosis with you to dispel any rumors that may arise.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation.  As always, if you have concerns regarding your child’s health, please contact your health care provider. As always, students with fever over 100 will be asked to stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications.

For more information, see information at the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/EV68/ or at Spokane’s Regional Health District at http://www.srhd.org/feature.asp?id=62.

Thank you –
Travis Hanson
Superintendent