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Friday, September 12, 2014

BREAKING: Severe Respiratory Infection, Enterovirus 68, Hits NKU Campus

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- A staff member at Northern Kentucky University has contracted the severe respiratory illness Enterovirus 68, WCPO reported this morning.

“Our colleague exhibited symptoms consistent with this common virus on Monday, and our colleague has not returned to campus since visiting a doctor that day,” NKU President Geoffrey Mearns said.

Enterovirus 68 can often be mistaken, initially, as a common cold, with symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, cough, but is also accompanied, eventually, by a fever. Severe cases can also include wheezing and asthmatic-like breathing.

Children, especially those suffering from asthma, the elderly, and people who are already sick are especially at risk for contracting the virus, which has been cropping up all over the Midwest in recent weeks.

While the infection is not usually fatal, symptoms are often severe and can require hospitalization.

According to the report, NKU officials recommend these steps to reduce the risk of infection among staff and students:
  • wash your hands often, with soap and water
  • avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • when coughing or sneezing, cover mouth and nose with upper sleeve or elbow, not hands
  • avoid kissing, hugging, or sharing cups or utensils with people who are sick
  • disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
Click here for WCPO's full coverage.

- Staff report

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