Another Death from Enterovirus EV-D68

Enterovirus has claimed another life. A 21 month old girl in Michigan is the second person in the United States to die from Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). The little girl was being treated for the disease at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, located in Detroit, where she died Friday night. She is the first fatality in Michigan that can be attributed to EV-D68. Earlier in the week, 4 year old Eli Waller of New Jersey died in his sleep. His death was linked to the Enterovirus diet and complications from a strep infection. The little boy had been ill, but appeared to be doing better on the night that he died.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), non-polio enteroviruses are very common and can infect anyone. In most people, the virus will only cause mild cold symptoms, however, those with weaker immune systems, and those who are very old or very young, may develop more serious complications. CDC reports that four people have died from EV-D68 infection this year.

From the middle of August to today, the CDC has identified 691 people in 46 states with illness that can be associated with EV-D68 infection. According to the CDC, each of these states have at least one infection:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

 Enterovirus starts off like a common cold with symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing and cough. More severe symptoms include difficulty breathing and rash. It is difficult to distinguish between a basic cold and the Enterovirus. Treatment for Enterovirus includes rest, fluids and over the counter cold medications. Any patients who develop breathing difficulties should immediately visit an emergency room to verify infection and receive more supportive care. .

EV-D68 is likely to hang around for the 2014 flu season, as the Enterovirus spreads throughout the United States. There have been clusters of infections in some states as well, and more are expected as the fall flu season goes into full swing.