What You Need to Know About Enterovirus or EV-D68

You may be aware that an increasing number of children in several U.S. states have been diagnosed with Enterovirus D68.  Following are some facts and information that can help you to understand why this virus is gaining national attention and how to reduce your child’s risk of contracting it.

Enteroviruses are quite common, as there are over 100 different types. Each year, 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States, usually during the summer and fall. Most people infected with enteroviruses have only mild symptoms like a common cold. Some people do not appear to be sick at all. However, enteroviruses can cause more serious symptoms that may require hospitalization.

EV-D68 is one strain of enterovirus that has been linked to repository illness that ranges from mild to severe.  While this strain has been around for more than 40 years, it is less common and rarely reported in the United States. It is not possible to confirm which specific strain the children have (such as EV-D68) without further testing at one of a limited number of CDC facilities.

However, our specialists note that there’s no need for parents to become overly concerned about the number of children who have contracted EV-D68 across the country. Their advice is to closely monitor children who have been exposed to this virus or have a mild cold-like illness because respiratory symptoms caused by enterovirus can progress quickly. Young children and people with asthma are particularly vulnerable to EV-D68 and severe respiratory illness.

Common Enterovirus Symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Lethargy
  • Mild fever (sometimes a fever is not present)
  • Runny nose, sneezing, cough
  • Skin rash
  • Body and muscle aches
  • Mouth blisters

For children with asthma:

Children with asthma should continue to follow their asthma action plans and speak with their doctor regarding yellow and red zone instructions. According to the CDC, 68 percent of the children with lab-confirmed EV-D68 nationwide have a history of asthma or wheezing (Sept. 8, 2014).

When to Seek Treatment

  • If you are concerned for any reason, notify your doctor.
  • If your child is experiencing signs of respiratory distress, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, feeling of “not getting enough air,” call your doctor immediately or go to your local ED.
  • If your child is unresponsive, turns blue or stops breathing, call 911.

Prevention

Since many people who come down with an enterovirus do not have symptoms, it is difficult to prevent it from spreading. However, these tips can help keep your family to remain healthier now and during the cold and flu season:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Hand sanitizers are not as effective against enterovirus as thorough handwashing)
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, handrails and toys, especially where has respiratory illness symptoms.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing cups and eating utensils with sick people.
  • Stay home when feeling ill and consult with your doctor if your child is experiencing symptoms.

At Mountain View Hospital, we’re well prepared to take good care of anyone who is experiencing serious symptoms of any respiratory illness including an enterovirus. Our emergency medicine specialists can provide evidence-based treatments for symptoms that would not need to be adjusted even if the virus could be confirmed as EV-D68. They are ready to provide appropriate and effective patient care plans for anyone with severe respiratory symptoms.

If you have questions or concerns about enterovirus or its symptoms, contact your family doctor or pediatrician or visit www.health.utah.gov. If you do not have a physician, you can schedule an appointment as soon as possible through our “See Me Same Day” service at 877-870-3745.

 

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How Poor Posture, Mobile Devices and Back Pain Go Hand in Hand

Raise your hand if you consider losing your smartphone or tablet a slight emergency. Now keep your hand up if you’d stop what you were doing immediately to look for it and buy another one the same day if it didn’t turn up.

Exactly.

We’re addicted to our gadgets—smartphones, tablets, e-readers, laptops and whatever else our favorite tech companies come out with. So much so that nearly ⅓ of us say we can’t live without them, according to a November 2012 study from the Pew Research Internet Project.

And while nobody’s knocking the love we have for our gadgets, if you’re starting to feel pain in your neck and back from spending hours slouched over to thumb a text message, it may be time to do something about it.

80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives

Source: American Chiropractic Association

 

Having Text Neck

This excessive use of smartphones and other mobile devices is creating similar strain on the neck and back that developed when people started to spend hours a day hunched over using a computer, says a November 2009 study from the American Public Health Association.

People with a habit of dropping their heads forward pay for it over time. Most cases of back pain are caused by mechanical issues, like slouched posture, and not by diseases and illnesses, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

The red flag is when the head, neck and shoulders are overused from leaning forward to look down at phones, laptops and tablets, according to the Text Neck Institute (Yes, that’s really what it’s called).

This, in turn, leads to a curved posture that resembles a slight hump back—plus neck and back pain, according to a June 2013 study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

 

Good Posture Is Important

Where’s my phone?!

29% of cell phone owners say they “can’t imagine living without” their cell phones.

Source: PewResearch Internet Project, November 2012

 

If you’re used to hunching over to use your mobile device, send yourself a text message that says, “Sit up straight.”

 

Because the habit has probably become so ingrained that you’re not conscious of it, you’ll have to take extra effort to walk and sit tall, according to the North American Spine Society.

 

This starts with sitting and standing with your chest up and shoulders back. Then, instead of dropping your head forward to see the screen, bring your elbows in to touch your waist and lift the screen closer to your face. There, isn’t that better?

 

If you’re sitting to use your laptop or tablet, sitting up straight will ensure that the weight of your head is supported by the spine; this decreases the stress placed on disks and also supports the ligaments in the neck, says the North American Spine Society.

 

Sit as straight as possible by getting a separate keyboard and mouse for your laptop. Now you can sit further back from the screen and keep it at eye level, rather than slouching over that tiny keyboard. You can also get a stand to raise your laptop closer to eye level or drop the height of your chair.

 

The goal is to get yourself in a position where your shoulders are squarely facing ahead, instead of rounded forward and your head is raised to a straight, neutral position, not dropped downward.

 

Sitting up straight supports the body against gravity, which tends to pull our heads and shoulders forward even more when we slouch. It allows the correct amount of muscle tension and provides balance, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

 

Exercise To Improve Text Neck

There are also a couple of exercises that the North American Spine Society suggests doing twice a day to increase the strength and range of motion in the neck. This will prevent your neck from becoming too stiff. You can do these just about any place where you can send a text message.

 

●     Neck rotations. With your head in a neutral position, slowly turn your head to the left as far as you can and hold it for 5 seconds–do the same to the right. You can do this exercise either sitting or standing. Do this in sets of 5.

 

●     Scapular retraction. Stand with your arms at your side and the head and neck in a neutral position. Pull your shoulders blades back and downward. Hold this position initially for 10 seconds and work up to 30 seconds. Do this in sets of 5.

 

If your neck or back pain persists or gets worse, use that beloved smartphone to make an appointment with our orthopedic specialists, who can help manage your pain.

 

 

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Mountain View Hospital welcomes first baby of the year

Mountain View Hospital staff helped Archer and Laura Hardy welcome their healthy newborn baby boy into the world at 12:17 p.m. on Jan.2, 2014. His name is William Brimhall Hardy and he weighed 6 pounds 14 ounces and is 12 inches long.

The Hardy’s are from Santaquin, and this is their first baby.

The family of the baby received a special gift basket from the hospital in honor of delivering the first baby born in 2014 at Mountain View Hospital.

“We are privileged that families in our community have chosen Mountain View Hospital to help welcome their children into the world and be part of their memories that will last a lifetime,” said Lisa Taylor, CNO of Mountain View Hospital. “Our team delivered more than 900 babies last year and we are committed to providing the best possible care for each mother, baby and family. We wish all the families in our community, a happy and healthy new year.”

 

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Mountain View Hospital Medical Staff presents donation to The Food and Care Coalition

A lot of families in the area will be taken care of this holiday season, thanks to a recent donation by Mountain View Hospital’s Medical Staff (physicians).

Mountain View Hospital Medical Staff donated $2,500 to The Food and Care Coalition in Provo. Funds were presented by Dr. Joseph Dinkins, to Brent Cane, executive director of The Food and Care Coalition a few days before Christmas.

“This donation is the result of the generosity of our dedicated physicians at MVH,” said Erin Clawson, medical staff coordinator at MVH. “I’m proud to be part of a hospital whose doctors care so deeply for those they serve.”

This is the third year that physicians at Mountain View Hospital have come together with this generous donation to help families in need during the holidays.

The Food and Care Coalition provides hot meals, showers and laundry facilities, as well as a number of other services for those who are homeless.

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What The Holidays Were Meant To Be

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I see those old movies from the 1940’s and 50’s about Christmas time and Holiday fun, I get happy. Genuinely happy. Things just seem right. Particularly the Jimmy Stewart movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I walk away feeling like I have a better grasp of what life is really about. And I appreciate the fact that I get to live life even with its craziness and disappointments.

It’s times like that when the Christmas holiday season is such a great thing.

But then there are those moments that seem to creep up and want to take over. Like when I go to the store to find the Star Wars toy my son begged for last month and it’s not there. Or when the perfect gift costs twice what it should. Or when there’s one more party that I am supposed to be at, that I want to be at, but can’t figure who to leave the kids with this time.

Actually, the ironic thing about the most wonderful time of the year is that it comes with a lot of demand on your wallet, your time and even your expectations. The challenge is to not let the demanding part over take the joyful part – to keep ourselves focused on what the holidays were meant to be.

Here are a few strategies that can help us keep our heads:

Remember that the best part of the season is the relationships we have, not the things.

  • Quit trying to find the perfect gift.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Stick to a budget.
  • You don’t have to entertain.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Don’t totally abandon healthy nutrition
  • Set your expectations around connecting with people – children, parents, friends.

This truly is a time of the year when we get to reflect on our many blessings and joys. One of the best ways to remember all that we have is to remember those who have less. And often those who we believe are less fortunate are actually a genuine example of happiness and peace. Gratitude is the key to true happiness. Let’s take the time this holiday season to rediscover the many places we can feel, show, and share gratitude.

 

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