I wanted to take the time this week to provide some basic information about some of the health concerns which have been talked about quite a bit in both our state and country. I am using information I have received through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (dhhs.state.nh.us), The United States Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov). At school, our custodial staff and teachers continue to clean and sanitize our common areas, student work areas and bathrooms. Our school nurse and teachers have been reminding students of the importance of hand washing and the general precautions against spreading germs. Enterovirus D68 Signs & Symptoms: Similar to the common cold, mild symptoms can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms can include wheezing and difficulty in breathing. There have been reports of some individuals developing heart or brain infections or even become paralyzed. Transmission: Occurs by having close contact with an infected person who coughs or sneezes. You can also get infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them and then by touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Prevention: You can help prevent yourself from getting and spreading EV-D68 and other respiratory illnesses by washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands. Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.