Update: CDC confirms enterovirus D68 cases in 16 states
The CDC has updated the number of confirmed enterovirus D68 cases to include 140 people in 16 states.
Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia have confirmed enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) cases, according to the CDC website. Clusters of severe respiratory illness recently have been reported across the US. The rash of illnesses primarily has affected children and in some cases required hospitalization, particularly among those with a history of asthma and wheezing, the CDC reported.
The CDC anticipates that the number of states and confirmed cases will increase. Other states are investigating respiratory illness outbreaks that require time to test specimens and obtain lab results before EV-D68 can be confirmed, according to the CDC website.
WHO added EV-D68 to its Global Alert and Response list of disease outbreaks on Sept. 17, indicating that all states should be prepared to provide adequate epidemic response if need be.
The New York State Department of Public Health has confirmed that more than 12 children have EV-D68, primarily in the capital region and central portion of the state, according to a press release. Other specimens also are being tested for EV-D68.
“It is important that we follow common sense rules to prevent the spread of this virus, as we do for flu or other contagious illnesses,” Howard A. Zucker, MD, JD, acting New York state health commissioner, said in the release. “Because there is no specific treatment or vaccination against this virus, our best defense is to prevent it by practicing proper hygiene.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported in a separate release that it investigating clusters of children with suspected EV-D68, and that four specimens from Mobile County sent to the CDC tested positive for the virus.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has advised parents of children with asthma and allergies to be aware of their child’s symptoms regarding EV-D68.