Commonsense precautions should prevail as a severe respiratory illness is alarming parents of young children across Kentucky.
"A lot of young parents are worried," said Dr. Rice Leach, Lexington's commissioner of public health.
The virus known as EV-D68 has been found in Central Kentucky in the last few weeks, said Gwenda Bond, spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Ten samples taken from children who were ill were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Five of those cases were found to be EV-D68, she said.
But, "this is not a killer disease loose in Kentucky," Leach said.
He and Bond suggested that parents use general precautions including keeping children away from others who are sick, making sure children wash their hands, and seeing a medical professional if a child experiences difficulty breathing.
Parents of children with asthma or heart problems or already compromised immune systems should be aware if their child "has a cold that doesn't act like a cold," and should seek medical care for such children, Leach said.
Across the state, public health workers are watching for the spread of the disease, and if additional precautionary steps are needed, the public will be alerted promptly, Leach said.