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 a surface that is then touched by others. EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Mild symptoms may include runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing. Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing or if their symptoms are getting worse.
Treatment There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Statistics A mix of enteroviruses circulates every year, and different types of enteroviruses can be common in different years. Small numbers of EV-D68 have been reported regularly to CDC since 1987. However, during 2014 the number of people reported with confirmed EV-D68 infection was much greater than that reported in previous years. We can?t predict whether EV-D68 will be a common type of enterovirus detected in future seasons. Major research In 2014, the United States experienced a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory illness. From mid-August 2014 to January 15, 2015, CDC or state public health laboratories confirmed a total of 1,153 people in 49 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
Almost all of the confirmed cases were among children, many whom had asthma or a history of wheezing. Additionally, there were likely millions of mild EV-D68 infections for which people did not seek medical treatment and/or get tested. CDC received about 2,600 specimens for enterovirus lab testing during 2014, which is substantially more than usual. About 36% of those tested positive for EV-D68. About 33% tested positive for an enterovirus or rhinovirus other than EV-D68. EV-D68 was detected in specimens from 14 patients who died and had samples submitted for testing. State and local officials have the authority to determine and release information about the cause of these deaths.