This is about
the severe respiratory illness Enterovirus 68. The most common sense
article I have found on the internet is this one.
are a group of viruses that include the polioviruses (viruses that cause
polio) along with other types of viruses called coxsackieviruses and
echoviruses. Rhinoviruses (viruses that cause the common cold) are the
most common viruses infecting humans. The second most common viruses
infecting humans are the non-polio enteroviruses (all the members of
this virus group excluding the polio-causing viruses).
While the polioviruses have been eliminated in the
Western Hemisphere, there are 62 different non-polio enteroviruses that
are known to cause disease in humans. Anyone can be infected by
non-polio enteroviruses, which are believed to cause 10-15 million
illnesses per year in the U.S. alone. Infants, children, and adolescents
are more likely than adults to develop an illness from enteroviral
infection since they are less likely to have immunity to these viruses
from previous exposures.
are associated with various clinical symptoms, including mild
respiratory illness, febrile rash illness, and neurologic illness, such
as aseptic meningitis and encephalitis.
Enteroviruses can also cause flu-like symptoms, rash, or
in rare cases, inflammation of the heart or brain. Serious complications
are more common in infants, those with major health problems, and those
with weakened immune systems. The condition known as hand foot and mouth
disease is also caused by some of the non-polio enteroviruses.
EV-D68, however, primarily causes respiratory illness, although the
full spectrum of disease remains unclear because it is identified at
only a few limited number of laboratories in the United States. So
EV-D68 is not frequently identified.
infections, including EV-D68, are not reportable. Since the original
isolation of EV-D68 in California in 1962, it has been reported rarely
in the United States. There were reports received during 2009–2013 with
clusters of respiratory illness during 2009–2010.
people infected with an enterovirus will not become ill and will have no
symptoms of the infection. Others will develop a respiratory illness
similar to the common cold. Because infections with non-polio
enteroviruses are most common during the summer and fall and are
diagnosed as a "summer cold".
I have mentioned that many cases of severe diseases are
mild and never get diagnosed or reported. See my articles on West Nile
and Ebola. In 1920 we had polio. Did you know 90% of polio infections
cause no symptoms at all. Paralysis occured in only one in 1000 cases
in children and adults one in 75 cases. So there are many cases of
Enterovirus 68 that are not diagnosed. Then when some cases are
diagnosed, the doctors hear about it and start running tests for it.
This current strain has caused children in at least 11
states to experience sudden difficulty in breathing. From Aug. 18 to
Wednesday afternoon, Children's Hospital Colorado had treated more than
1,750 children for severe respiratory illness in its emergency
locations. Of these, 156 were admitted to the hospital. 72% of the
severe cases had asthma.
always been cases of respiratory disease outbreaks. Remember last year
the news went crazy about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome MERS
http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/ until Ebola came along. There
was a case of MERS this year in May here in America. And before that
there was SARS –
were coronaviruses. We normally average yearly 100 children deaths from
flu in America but we had 282 in 2009 with the new strain H1N1. There
were 1700 cases of West Nile in Texas in 2012 but last year there were
180. There is a large increase in many illnesses because of a new
strain that no one has immunity to or there are a lot of people that are
not immune to the disease in the community. That is why we have
outbreaks of Measles when many kids do not get vaccinated.
There are a
large number of cases this year of EV68 because there are a lot of
children who have not yet had this illness and those with health issues
are hit hardest. That is why we recommend flu vaccines for children but
especially for those with asthma and other debilitating diseases. That
is why more children are getting this Enterovirus disease since older
teens and adults are immune to it from years ago.
Watch for a
cold and cough that causes the child to have severe difficulty
breathing. There is no cure except giving oxygen and supportive care.
It is spread
in the same ways as the winter flu and for precautions against it, use
similar techniques … like hand washing. Most illness are contagious
right before symptoms start so using good precautions every day is wise.
It is a bad
chest cold and pray our kids do not get it or at least have a mild
case. It is heart breaking when a child is ill and horrible when they
die. We can’t prevent all illness and death. All we can do is use the
normal illness precautions and pray.