While the dreadful spread of Ebola is getting a lot of news attention at the moment, Tom Morrison, vice president of marketing for Kaivac, says we should not forget that Ebola is not our only concern, especially here in the U.S.
"For instance, here in Ohio, Enterovirus-68 is a very big concern and certainly not getting the media attention and awareness it deserves," according to Morrison.
Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, is one of more than 100 non-polio viruses, first identified in California in 1962. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mild symptoms of the disease include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. However, severe symptoms may include wheezing and considerable difficulty breathing.
"What makes Enterovirus D68 so alarming is that it is spread person to person – similar to the flu or a cold – when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that [is later] touched by others," says Morrison. "And like many viruses, it can be spread without someone showing any symptoms or even knowing they are sick."
On the other hand, the World Health Organization says Ebola spreads through frequent and direct contact with bodily fluids and is usually spread only by someone who is showing symptoms.
Morrison adds that we should also not overlook seasonal illnesses like the flu. The flu kills an estimated 36,000 people a year in the U.S., according to the CDC. However, most of these deaths are caused by complications from the flu due to weakened immune systems.
"As it has in the past, the professional cleaning industry is going to play a major role in protecting health, whether it is Ebola, Enterovirus, or the flu," adds Morrison. "We must never forget, goal #1 for of our industry is to protect human health."