Enteroviruses normally occur late every summer and into every fall, but as temperatures drop, the reason for concern decreases.

According to Dr George McSherry, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) will die out with the onset of winter.

Though EV-D68 is difficult to diagnose, it is no more contagious or rare than the common cold. “EV-D68 can cause mild symptoms like fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches and diarrhea,” McSherry said.

“You get it by shaking hands with somebody who sneezed into their hands or touching a contaminated surface like a phone or a counter and rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth,” he said, noting that proper hand hygiene is one of the best methods to prevent the virus from spreading.

Like a cold virus, EV-D68 can be prevented with regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth after contact with potentially infected surfaces commonly touched by others, such as a phone or countertop.

More information about EV-D68 is posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.