Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Enteroviruses infect an estimated 50 million people each year in the United States. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about enterovirus in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Enterovirus is a virus that enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract and thrives there, often moving on to attack the nervous system. The polioviruses are enteroviruses.

The enteroviruses are second only to the common cold virusesthe rhinovirusesas the most common viral infectious agents in humans. The enteroviruses cause an estimated 10 to 15 million or more symptomatic infections a year in the United States.

Enteroviruses can be found in the respiratory secretions and stool of an infected person.

Most people who are infected with an enterovirus have no disease at all. Infected persons who become ill usually develop either mild upper respiratory symptoms, a flu-like illness with fever and muscle aches or an illness with rash. Less commonly, some persons have aseptic or viral meningitis.

There are usually no long-term complications from the mild illnesses or from aseptic meningitis.

No vaccine is currently available for the enteroviruses, aside from polio. General cleanliness and frequent hand washing are probably effective in reducing the spread of these viruses.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.