How many things is it possible to fear simultaneously? They say our capacity for love is limitless, but this year's particularly aggressive strain of enterovirus means your heart might have to serve as an emergency overflow chamber for all the fear. Where is the fear normally kept? Appendix? Pituitary gland? Either way, it's full.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 500 people in 43 states have been diagnosed with the virus since mid-August. While deaths associated with EV-D68 have been reported, this is the first known case in which the virus is solely to blame. The boy, identified as Eli Waller, was asymptomatic prior to his death, save for an unrelated case of pink eye.
Symptoms of enterovirus are roughly those of the common cold, with a fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. It's a respiratory illness, which means it can be spread when an infected party sneezes, coughs or touches things with their germ hands. Infants and children are most at risk, and there is no available treatment or vaccine.
Methods of prevention are pretty standard: Wash your damn hands for two rounds of the Happy Birthday song—or just 20 seconds, if you're a cleanliness killjoy. Avoid placing your face on or around sick people, and avoid using utensils which an Infected may have slurped or held. If you are sick, stay home and avoid international flights. Thank you.