Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Smith is an experienced keynote speaker for a variety of topics including pediatric/parenting topics, healthcare social media and physician leadership. If you are interested in having Dr. Smith present to your conference or meeting, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.
Health alert: What is enterovirus D68?
What you need to know about respiratory illness
Back to school time has brought with it an unexpected and unwelcome virus to much of the United States. Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials are warning health care providers in affected states to be on the lookout for a respiratory illness that starts with symptoms similar to the common cold, but rapidly progresses to wheezing and difficulty breathing. The virus is suspected to be enterovirus D68. Once thought to be rare, we have seen increasing frequency of infection and outbreak in recent years.
The recent outbreak has been noted in several states, 10 of which have requested help from the CDC: Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky. It is of particular concern because of the number of children whose illness progresses to wheezing and difficulty breathing. Early estimates are that about 15 percent of children who contract the virus may require hospitalization and many have required care in the intensive care unit. As with other respiratory viruses, any child with asthma or other chronic illnesses are more susceptible. The virus has been reported to cause wheezing even in children who do not have asthma.
Enterovirus D68 is spread through contact with others (often via coughing and sneezing), so avoiding people who are sick and washing hands frequently are important steps to prevention. It is important for parents to be aware of the illness and seek medical care should their children develop wheezing.
There are currently no published reports of activity in Texas, but if you have recently traveled to any of the affected states, it is important to be aware and let your pediatrician know if your child develops respiratory symptoms. As always, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when new information is available.