Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States for the last 40 years.
Hospitals in Missouri and Illinois are seeing more children than usual with severe respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D68.
Several other states are investigating clusters of children with severe respiratory illness, possibly due to enterovirus D68.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is watching this situation closely and helping the states with testing of specimens.
- EV-D68 has been reported to cause mild to severe respiratory illness. However, the full spectrum of EV-D68 illness is not well-defined.
- EV-D68 is not frequently identified, so it is less studied and the ways it spreads are not as well-understood as other enteroviruses. EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
- There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections.
- Many infections will be mild and self-limited, requiring only treatment of the symptoms.
- Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy.
- No antiviral medications are currently available for treating of EV-D68 infections.
- There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.
- You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
- Hand sanitizer is not effective against EV-D68.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick