Avoiding the enterovirus virus

Sneezing girl

Kids are back in school and so are the "bugs" that can cause colds and other illnesses.

With reports of a rare respiratory virus suspected in nearby states, it's a good idea to remind your children about some important steps they can take to stay healthy.

Doctors say hand washing is one of the best ways to fight the spread of viruses, including the one that has left hundreds of children hospitalized in 10 states recently. A rare form of enterovirus has been confirmed in some of the cases in Missouri, and suspected in others, including some cases in Ohio.

The virus has no vaccine and it can cause serious illness in children with asthma or weakened immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge parents to start good habits now to avoid colds and flu later on.

Practice these steps to protect yourself and your children: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers
  • Avoid close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including toys, backpacks and lunchboxes
  • Avoid sharing food, cups or utensils
  • Keep your children at home when they are sick if possible