It’s about Hand and Respiratory Hygiene

WomanWashingHandsThe New Jersey State Department of Health recently reported that hand sanitizers were not effective at protecting against EV-D68, the strain of the enterovirus that has caused children, particularly those with asthma, to become ill late summer into fall.

There is still plenty we can do to protect children from getting EV-D68 and it all starts with hand as well as respiratory hygiene.  Maintaining as clean an environment as possible is also helpful in preventing the spread of the virus.

We practice hand hygiene is practiced by washing our hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after touching others who may be ill, pets and commonly touched surfaces.  Make sure you do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  Enterovirus is found in feces, so special care should be taken to wash hands thoroughly after changing diapers.

The best way to practice respiratory hygiene is to cough or sneeze into a tissue and then properlydisposing it in a waste basket , not where someone might pick it up.  Don’t have a tissue? Then use your sleeve or elbow but never your hands.  Some people find putting on a mask on someone who is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection the best way to proctect others.  As a matter of fact many physician practices and hospitals will require that you put on a mask if you arrive for treatment and are sneezing and coughing.

Practice good hygiene in your living space too.  EV can survive on surfaces long enough to allow the virus to spread to others. Frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces such as tables, chairs, countertops, doorknobs, toys and computer keyboards can help limit the spread of EV to others. If no such cleaning product is available, you can use a solution made with 5 tablespoons to 1.5 cups of household bleach per 1 gallon of water. If you are unable to use bleach, look for cleaning products that list “Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride” as an active ingredient on the label and say that the product kills norovirus (a virus that can cause vomiting and diarrhea) and rhinovirus (another virus that can cause upper respiratory tract infections).. This includes products such as Lysol All-purpose Cleaner, Pine-Sol All-purpose cleaner and Clorox disinfecting spray/wipes. Follow instructions on the label.  Enteroviruses are resistant to alcohol disinfection. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website has a list of commercial cleaning products for noroviruses; these also kill enteroviruses.

If a child does come down with EV-D68, he or she should not attend school until they are symptom-free.Children with a fever (oral temperature of >100.4°F) must stay home until they are symptom-free and fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication (e.g., acetaminophen [Tylenol™] or ibuprofen [Advil™ or Motrin™]). For school exclusion guidance, go to:


This blog is published courtesy of Peter N. Wenger, M.D., a pediatric infectious diseases specialist  at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.  To find a physician affiliated with Saint Peter’s, visit or call 1-855-SP-MY-DOC (1-855-776-6932).  




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Kid- and Adult-Friendly Chicken Fingers

CornmealChickenFingersThe adults in the family will probably enjoy this recipe for chicken fingers just as much as the kids.  Several ingredients help to make this recipe healthier, including the cornmeal, a whole grain used to prepare the chicken’s coating.Two chicken strips only have one gram of sugar,  90 milligrams of cholesterol and 75 milligrams of sodium.  At 225 calories, the strips pack 230 milligrams of potassium.

This recipe is published on the website of our partners, the American Diabetes Association. Find this recipe and other kid-friendly ones at

Do you have any healthy recipes that you’d like to share?  Please share your recipes on the Saint Peter’s University Hospital Facebook or Google + pages or via Twitter @SPHCS_news. Mention #mytastythursday when you post.


Cooking spray 1 cup cornmeal

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon thyme

1 egg

1 egg white

Dash hot sauce

1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast tenderloins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. In a shallow dish, mix together the cornmeal, garlic powder, black pepper, and thyme.
  3. In another shallow baking dish, whisk together the egg, egg whites, and hot sauce.
  4. Dip a chicken breast strip in the egg mixture, and then drench in the cornmeal mixture. Coat well and place on baking sheet. Repeat procedure for the rest of the chicken strips.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until done (internal temperature of 165 degrees F). Turn chicken pieces over half way through cooking time.


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