With the first day of winter just around the corner in the United States (Dec 21), the end of the Enterovirus season should be upon us. However, after not reporting any Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) cases in weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an additional 28 EV-D68 cases Thursday, bringing the national total of confirmed cases by the CDC and the states to 1,149 people in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Enterovirus D68/CDC
Enterovirus D68/CDC

The good news is these newly reported cases are not likely due to new clusters of the virus in the country. CDC spokeswoman Jeanette St. Pierre told CIDRAP News Friday, “The number we are reporting includes cases confirmed by the CDC and the states. Sometimes there is lag time for the specimens reaching the CDC. We are not aware of a new cluster of cases.”

The federal health agency says of the more than 2,500 specimens tested by the CDC lab, about 40% have tested positive for EV-D68. About one third have tested positive for an enterovirus or rhinovirus other than EV-D68. In addition, almost all the confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been among children. Many of the children had asthma or a history of wheezing.

EV-D68 has been detected in specimens from 12 patients who died and had samples submitted for testing. CDC is reporting test results to state health departments as we obtain them.

North of the border in Canada, the latest surveillance data on EV-D68 from the Public Health Agency of Canada as of November 4, 2014 shows a total of 214 specimens tested positive for EV-D68 at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), with specimen collection dates between August and October 2014, and were received from several provinces across Canada.

The province of Alberta has reported 111 EV0D68 cases.

The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) with the CDC has reported an additional case acute flaccid myelitis (polio-like illness) in an update Friday. From August 2 to December 10, CDC has verified reports of 94 children in 33 states who developed acute flaccid myelitis that meets CDC’s case definition. CDC is working with healthcare professionals and state and local health departments to investigate all the cases reported since August. CDC is also in the process of verifying two additional reports.

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