There is still a mystery surrounding Enterovirus cases spreading around the country. Now the CDC is investigating possible connections between the virus and temporary paralysis. Although its symptoms are similar to the common cold, its rapid progression and severity makes it very different — with many cases ending up in Intensive Care. Hundreds are hospitalized in 11 states, at higher risk are children with asthma.
Here are some important things you should know:
• Highly contagious, spreadable by cough or sneeze, and also can live on surfaces. But full knowledge of how is spreads is unknown due to lack of scientific studies on the virus.
• Starts like common cold; Runny Nose, Coughing, sneezing and fever
• Progresses rapidly; difficulty breathing, possible loss of consciousness (look for wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty speaking)
Apparently this isn’t the first case of an outbreak of Enterovirus (EV-D68). According to a 2011 CDC report, from 2008 to 2010 there were clusters of Acute Respiratory Illness associated with EV-D68 across multiple continents including Asia, Europe and the United States. While it’s not the first time however, health officials are scratching their heads as to why it has reemerged… and with such voracity.
Particularly alarming is the lack of specific treatment for the virus and its, now possible, connection to acute onset of focal limb weakness — or temporary paralysis. Instead, health officials are tasked with treating the symptoms of the infection, often requiring hospitalization.
The CDC has a specific link for Healthcare Professionals on Evaluating, Reporting, Testing and Infection Control Recommendations here.
In 2012, more than 1,500 hospitals participated with the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) in an initiative aimed at reducing harm and cutting readmissions of patients, which led to saving more than $1.3 billion, according to a statement from the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET).
HEN, a collaboration between Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) and the American Hospital Association (AHA), is focused on improving healthcare quality, improve hospital infrastructures and promote a culture of quality.
In a news release by HRET, the program prevented:
“The latest results from the HEN effort are outstanding and highlight the success that quality improvement professionals can make within their hospitals and health systems,” said Maulik Joshi, president of HRET and senior vice president for AHA.
This should be beacon for hospital executives and administrators who are searching for ROI on the quality and performance initiatives they are funding. Innovations in healthcare quality IT incident management and hospital management software, like the ActionCue application, are revolutionizing how hospitals provide care to patients. By introducing IT technologies perfected in other industries to the performance and quality management of hospitals, it is now becoming possible for administrators and front-line staff to visualize, in real-time, the performance of their hospital — allowing for near immediate actions to correct adverse incidents — preventing bad outcomes, improving patient care and dramatically reducing hospital costs.