The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has identified a case of respiratory illness due to Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) in a child who was hospitalized with acute respiratory symptoms. The child was released from a Twin Cities hospital and is now recovering at home.

Enterovirus D68/CDC
Enterovirus D68/CDC

The MDH Public Health Laboratory confirmed a case of EV-D68 Tuesday night in a specimen submitted by a hospital participating in Minnesota’s severe acute respiratory infections surveillance system. EV-D68 is the same strain of enterovirus that has been associated with recent increases in severe respiratory illnesses in children in a number of states and Canada. Often, but not always, these children have a history of asthma.

Over the past two weeks, through multiple surveillance systems, MDH has detected other types of enteroviruses, and other respiratory viruses including rhinovirus, adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The finding of EV-D68 confirms suspicions that EV-D68 is circulating in Minnesota and may be responsible for some of the recent increases in pediatric admissions for severe respiratory illnesses in several Minnesota hospitals.

“This highlights the importance of having a surveillance system in place which can provide information on which respiratory viruses are circulating in the state and help us understand the burden caused by a particular virus,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield.

Minnesota is now added to the growing list of states reporting confirmed EV-D68 cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from mid-August to September 18, 2014, a total of 153 people from 18 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 18 states are Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The cases of EV-D68 infection were confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories that notified CDC.