CDC: Polio-like Enterovirus D-68 Linked to 9th U.S. Death

A non-polio enterovirus as seen under a microscope

(Above image: A non-polio enterovirus as seen under a microscope)

The U.S. death toll from the mysterious Enterovirus D-68, which primarily strikes young children, continues to rise.

The latest CDC update on the current outbreak of the polio-like Enterovirus D-68 states that it has now been detected “in specimens from nine patients who died and had samples submitted for testing.” That’s one more death than was disclosed in last week’s update. The CDC account does not provide information as to where the patient died and does not disclose his/her name, age or other details.

According to the latest weekly update from CDC, “from mid-August to October 30, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 1,105 people in 47 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.” That’s 132 more patients in the past week.

The respiratory illness can cause paralysis. The outbreak is likely more widespread than reported since some states are not lab testing all respiratory illnesses to confirm. Most cases are said to be mild.

Occasionally, the illness becomes deadly without apparent warning.

A Phoenix couple told a television news outlet that doctors confirmed Enterovirus killed their infant son, Lancen Kendall. They said CDC was testing to see if the D68 strain is to blame. The couple says their child showed no symptoms but simply did not wake up from a nap earlier this month.

“The lack of warning is the scariest part to me. We didn’t know he was sick,” father Kevin Kendall told the news outlet.

In Cincinnati, an eight year old girl is said to be battling paralysis and illness after the sudden onset of EV-D68 in September. Madison Grigsby is paralyzed in her legs and feet. The Ohio Department of Health has reportedly confirmed eight confirmed cases of EV-D68 at Dayton Children’s Hospital, where Grigsby is being treated, and eleven at Cincinnati Children’s.

A case at an elementary school in East Lyme, Connecticut has just been reported.

CDC says it’s expected this outbreak will decline as late fall progresses.

CDC has received informal reports from some hospitals and states that are seeing signs of decreasing EV-D68 infections. CDC is gathering more information from states and assessing whether this represents a national trend.–CDC

A Michigan toddler was the sixth confirmed patient to die of EV-D68. Madeline Reid was just 21-months old when she passed away at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. A hospital official says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed her EV-D68 infection after she arrived at the hospital for advanced medical care.

Prior to that, victims included a four-year-old New Jersey boy, Eli Waller. He died at home on September 25.  A health official says Eli was “asymptomatic and fine” when he went to bed but died overnight. He had no known preexisting immune weakness.

Earlier, a 10-year girl Rhode Island girl infected with EV-D68, Emily Otrando, died less than 24 hours after being rushed to the hospital with breathing problems. Three other patients with EV-D68 also died in September.

Read the latest CDC info on Enterovirus D-68

Read other Enterovirus D-68 stories here


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