30-Oct-14 10:15 AM  CST

Enterovirus D68: What Everyone Should Know

Enterovirus, most people have never heard of the virus, yet Dr. Mark Pallansch, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there are over 100 different strains of the enterovirus that cause between 10-15 million infections in the United States each year. The virus, which is carried by the intestinal tract, but spreads to other parts of the body, has recently made headlines. The Enterovirus symptoms typically present like those of a bad cold, but the strain of most recent concern, Enterovirus D68, has caused the CDC to caution the public.

            Enterovirus D68 is a respiratory virus whose symptoms can include, fever, cough, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. At first, the virus may seem the same as many other viruses, such as influenza, but Enterovirus D68 has mysteriously attacked 973 children in 47 states. The CDC states there have been 2 known deaths, but it is unclear if the deaths were a direct result of the virus or complication of the symptom as a result of the virus.

            First discovered in California in 1962, the virus is related to Hand; Foot and Mouth disease, and children are the most susceptible. According to the CDC Enterovirus D68 can infect anyone at any age, but children between the ages of 2-16 are at the greatest risk. The most recent cases of Enterovirus D68 have been the hardest on children between the ages of 4 and 5.

            The first cases of Entervirus D68 were confirmed in mid- August in the Mid-West, Chicago, and Kanas City, but the CDC has just confirmed the virus was most recently confirmed in the Southwest, near Phoenix, Arizona. Parents should be caused to monitor for the symptoms of entervirus D68, as the virus is spread much the same way as the influenza virus, through air droplets.





Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Entervirus D68”, CDC, 10/14/14, http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Entervirus D68 in the United State in 2014”, CDC, 10/23/1

Mullen, Jethro, “What is the Entervirus D-68, the Disease, Causing Alarm in the Mid-West?”, CNN, 09/09/14, http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/08/health/enterovirus-ev-d68-explainer

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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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