EV-D68 Infections Reported
Hospitals in Missouri and Illinois are seeing more children than usual with severe respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D68 for this time of the year.
Several other states are investigating clusters of children with severe respiratory illness, possibly due to enterovirus D68.
CDC is watching this situation closely and helping the states with testing of specimens.Q: What is enterovirus D68?
A: Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962, but it has not been commonly reported in the United States.Q: What are the symptoms of EV-D68 infection?
A: EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness.
- Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.
- Most of the children who got very ill with EV-D68 infection in Missouri and Illinois had difficulty breathing, and some had wheezing. Many of these children had asthma or a history of wheezing.
A: Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
States with Lab-confirmed EV‑D68 Infections
From mid-August to September 19, 2014, a total of 160 people in 22 states have been confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Learn more about states with confirmed cases.Q: How many people have been confirmed to have EV-68 infection?
A: From mid-August to September 19, 2014, a total of 160 people in 22 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. (See States with Lab-confirmed Enterovirus D68.) The cases of EV-D68 infection were confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories that notified CDC.Q: How common are EV-D68 infections in the United States?
A: EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. However, CDC does not know how many infections and deaths from EV-D68 occur each year in the United States. Healthcare professionals are not required to report this information to health departments. Also, CDC does not have a surveillance system that specifically collects information on EV-D68 infections. Any data that CDC receives about EV-D68 infections or outbreaks are voluntarily provided by labs to CDC’s National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS). This system collects limited data, focusing on circulating types of enteroviruses and parechoviruses.Q: What time of the year are people most likely to get infected?
A: In general, the spread of enteroviruses is often quite unpredictable, and different types of enteroviruses can be common in different years with no particular pattern. In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall.
We’re currently in middle of the enterovirus season, and EV-D68 infections are likely to decline later in the fall.
Q: Who is at risk?
A: In general, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become ill. That’s because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses. We believe this is also true for EV-D68.
Among the EV-D68 cases in Missouri and Illinois, children with asthma seemed to have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.