THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

WHO provides update on enterovirus D68 in U.S.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that 12 U.S. states have reported a total of 130 laboratory-confirmed cases of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).

The U.S. first informed the Pan American Health Organization/WHO about the outbreak of EV-D68 on Sept. 10. The WHO said that investigations into suspected clusters in many other states are ongoing.

EV-D68 is identified by using molecular techniques available at a limited number of laboratories in the U.S. Laboratory detections of enterovirus and parechovirus types are reported voluntarily to the National Enterovirus Surveillance System, which is managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clinical care for EV-D68 is supportive as there are currently no vaccines or specific treatments for the disease. Symptoms of enterovirus include fever, runny nose, coughing, sneezing and body and muscle aches.

Individuals with pre-existing conditions including asthma or other respiratory disease are particularly vulnerable to EV-D68. Those individuals may experience wheezing or difficulty breathing.

Although the initial symptoms of enteroviruses are similar to other respiratory sicknesses, infection can result in more serious neurologic illnesses, including meningitis and encephalitis.

Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania have all reported laboratory-confirmed cases of EV-D68.