Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been a headline in the news for much of September 2014. EV-D68 is the respiratory illness some suspect may be resulting in an increase of children going to the emergency room with respiratory complications in central Ohio and the Midwest. The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed several positive tests for EV-D68 in the state of Ohio. The Ohio Department of Health, local health departmetns and hospitals are continuing to monitor the situation closely.
Respiratory Illness Due to Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68): Questions & Answers
What is the current situation?
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), several Ohio local health departments, and hospitals are assessing increases in severe respiratory illness among children to determine if it may be attributable to infections with Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). While Ohio does not have any positive tests for EV-D68, ODH is arranging for specimens to be tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What are enteroviruses?
Enteroviruses are very common viruses. There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the U.S. each year. Most people infected with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious. Infants, children and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become sick. This is because they do not yet have immunity from previous exposures to these viruses. Most enterovirus infections in the U.S. occur seasonally during the summer and fall, and outbreaks often tend to occur in several-year cycles.