Schools taking steps to stop enterovirus from spreading - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Schools take steps to prevent spread of enterovirus

Hand-washing is a major preventative measure schools are promoting. (File) Hand-washing is a major preventative measure schools are promoting. (File)

A major concern with the recent spread of enterovirus is how quickly it could impact schools.

The virus is already raising red flags in 12 states that are reporting possible clusters of enterovirus D-68. Six states, including Kentucky, now have confirmed cases. In Indiana, there are suspected cases but more testing is required.

That's why schools are working to get out in front of it, and it all starts with good hygiene.

Enterovirus is fairly common, but this strain, D-68, is fairly uncommon. It's so uncommon the CDC reports this strain as "rarely" diagnosed since its discovery in the 60s.

"We're kind of sitting on edge because we're waiting for that first case," said Carolyn Adee, health care coordinator for Lakota Local Schools.

Adee says school attendance is on par for this time of year, but students are complaining of cold-like symptoms.

This enterovirus strain is running rampant in hundreds of children nationwide, leading some to intensive care stays. Enterovirus is spread through close contact. In a school environment, children touch everything all day long.

"We're not going to totally avoid the spread of viruses, especially when there's not even a vaccine for it. but, whatever little steps we can do, we can decrease the spread of it," Adee told FOX19 NOW.

Part of that is keeping your kids home if they're sick, and seeing a doctor. The virus starts as feeling like your average cold, but attacks the respiratory system, proving especially problematic for those with respiratory issues.

"We encourage hand-washing. We have signs all over the school. We have kids bring in Lysol wipes," said Elizabeth Beadle, executive director of communications for Deer Park Schools.

For parents of Deer Park students, they've also been given a letter to serve as a friendly reminder to help protect everyone. 

"We have such a strong community, and a very committed base of parents, and we want them to know that the schools are being proactive, that we care about the students, and the families," said Beadle.

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