We’ve been following the EV-D68 outbreak now for over a month (see Kansas City Outbreak Identified As HEV 68 & Enterovirus D-68 (HEV-D68) Update), and as of last night’s update, 38 states have now confirmed cases of this rarely (at least, until now) seen enterovirus.
While some adults may be infected, this virus seems to mainly affect younger children, probably due to a lack of previous exposure to similar viruses. Most will endure only mild to moderate illness, but a small percentage of (mostly) kids have required hospitalization.
The low number of positive cases reported by the CDC only represents the tip of the iceberg, as testing (and reporting) of cases is not mandatory, and often during an outbreak only a few representative samples are forwarded to the State or CDC labs for testing.
The virus appears to be spreading rapidly, and more states are sending samples for testing every day. If it isn’t already in your state, it likely will be soon.
Last night the CDC revamped their EV-D68 webpage, with new links and updated information. Follow the link to view:
What We Know
States with Lab-confirmed EV‑D68 Infections
From mid-August to September 25, 2014, a total of 226 people in 38 states have been confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Learn more about states with confirmed cases.
- EV-D68 infections have recently been documented across the United States.
- From mid-August to September 25, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 226 people in 38 states with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Learn about states with confirmed cases. This indicates that at least one case has been detected in each state listed but does not indicate how widespread infections are in each state.
- Enteroviruses commonly circulate in summer and fall. We’re currently in middle of the enterovirus season, and EV-D68 infections are likely to decline later in the fall.
- Many state health departments have reported increases this year in cases of severe respiratory illness in children.
- This increase could be caused by many different viruses that are common during this time of year. EV-D68 appears to be the predominant type of enterovirus this year and may be contributing to the increases in severe respiratory illnesses.
- Hospitals in Missouri and Illinois were the first to document this increase that was later identified to be caused predominantly by EV-D68 infection. Read more.
- CDC is prioritizing testing of specimens from children with severe respiratory illness. There are likely many children affected with milder forms of illness. Of the specimens tested by the CDC lab, about half have tested positive for EV-D68. About one third have tested positive for an enterovirus or rhinovirus other than EV-D68. See map of states with lab-confirmed EV-D68 infections for more information.
- All the confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been among children, except for one adult. Many of the children had asthma or a history of wheezing. So far, no deaths attributed to EV-D68 infection have been documented.
What CDC Is Doing about EV-D68
- continuing to collect information from states and assess the situation to better understand
- EV-D68 and the illness caused by this virus and
- how widespread EV-D68 infections may be within each state and the populations affected.
- helping states with diagnostic and molecular typing for EV-D68.
- working with state and local health departments and clinical and state laboratories to
- enhance their capacity to identify and investigate outbreaks, and
- perform diagnostic and molecular typing tests to improve detection of enteroviruses and enhance surveillance.
- helping the Colorado health department investigate these cases among children in Colorado who had respiratory illness and later developed neurologic illness.
- developing and validating a diagnostic test to detect EV-D68 in specimens. CDC will explore options for providing test kits and protocols to state public health labs.
- providing information to healthcare professionals, policymakers, general public, and partners in numerous formats, including Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWRs), health alerts, websites, social media, podcasts, infographics, and presentations.