The number of cases acute neurologic illness with focal limb weakness of unknown etiology in children increased by five as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has verified reports of 75 cases in 29 states as of Wednesday.
The federal health agency says they are also in the process of verifying less than half a dozen additional reports.
Early last month, when there were about 10 cases, the CDC said about half of the children had EV-D68 in their nose secretions; the virus typically affects breathing. However, it is not clear whether this respiratory infection is linked to their muscle weakness.
The nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness appears to be slowing. According to the CDC, reports from most states over the last five weeks have indicated reduced EV-D68-like illness activity. However they warn, EV-D68 infections could continue through late fall.
From mid-August to November 12, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 1,116 people in 47 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
EV-D68 has been detected in specimens from 12 patients who died and had samples submitted for testing. They note that state and local officials have the authority to determine the cause of death, including the role that EV-D68 may have played.
They also have the authority to determine the appropriate information to release, and the time to release it. CDC will defer to states to provide this information.