With the caveat that a number of additional states have reported clusters of respiratory illness consistent with EV-D68 infection, and that only a small fraction of cases from each region are being tested, we’ve the latest update from the CDC indicating that 130 people across 12 states have tested positive for this emerging enterovirus.
This is up from 6 states reporting last week, and the number of states reporting this virus is expected to grow in the coming weeks. Thus far, thousands of people are believed to have been infected over the past 30 days.
While most people infected will only experience a `bad cold’, a small percentage of people – particularly those with asthma or other comorbidities – may experience serious illness and require hospitalization. For more on this virus, the CDC has prepared an Enterovirus D68 FAQ.
Later today (2pm EDT) the CDC will hold COCA call on the EV-D68 virus for clinicians and other healthcare providers.
From mid-August to September 16, 2014, a total of 130 people from 12 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 12 states are Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The cases of EV-D68 infection were confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories that notified CDC.
In the upcoming weeks, more states will have confirmed cases of EV-D68 infection.
- The primary reason for increases in cases is that several states are investigating clusters of people with severe respiratory illness, and specimens are still being tested for EV-D68. It can take a while to test specimens and obtain lab results. That’s because the testing is complex and slower, and can only be done by CDC and a small number of state public health laboratories. As the backlog of specimens is processed, the number of states and confirmed cases will likely increase. These increases will not necessarily reflect changes in real time, or mean that the situation is getting worse.
- Some of the increase will be from new EV-D68 infections since people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall. We are currently in the middle of the enterovirus season.
As investigations progress, we will have a better understanding of the trends for EV-D68 infections.