In August 2014, hospital officials in Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL notified CDC of an increase in severe respiratory illness among children seen in the emergency rooms and admitted to the hospitals.
- Specimens initially tested positive for rhinovirus and enterovirus. CDC did further testing and identified enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in specimens from patients in both hospitals in Kansas City and Chicago.
- CDC is working closely with MO, IL and other state health departments as they continue to investigate suspected clusters of respiratory illness in other facilities.
- Hospital admissions for severe respiratory illness among children in the Kansas City and Chicago hospitals are higher than expected for this time of year. Several states are also investigating similar clusters of severe respiratory illness, possibly due to EV-D68.
- The situation is evolving quickly. CDC is gathering information to better understand:
how widespread EV-D68 infections may be and the populations affected, and
whether other states are experiencing severe respiratory illness, possibly due to EV-D68.
- CDC is communicating often with state health departments that are investigating suspected clusters of respiratory illness, and we have received specimens for laboratory testing.
- CDC understands that Americans may be concerned about this situation. Severe respiratory illness is always a concern to us, especially when infants and young children are affected. We will share information as soon as we have it. We’ll also post information on our website (www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus).
- Healthcare providers should consider EV-D68 as a possible cause of severe respiratory illness, particularly in young children, and should report unusual increases in the numbers of patients with severe respiratory illness to local and state health departments.
- The general public can help protect themselves from respiratory illnesses by washing hands avoiding close contact with sick people, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.