The growing list of states with confirmed cases now includes
Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, the CDC
Known as enterovirus D68, the somewhat rare virus can cause symptoms
ranging from mild fevers to difficulty breathing and wheezing severe
enough to require hospitalization.
Since mid-August, the CDC has received reports of 130 people with
confirmed cases of the virus. There is no vaccine, and infants,
children and teenagers have the greatest risk of infection. So far,
there have been no reported deaths from the illness, which could be
fatal in serious cases.
Many of the children who became very ill in Missouri and Illinois,
where early outbreaks were seen, had asthma or a history of
wheezing, said the CDC, which is working with state health officials
to better understand infection trends.
U.S. health officials expect more states to confirm cases in the
weeks ahead, noting that clusters of illness are under investigation
in several states and that testing to confirm the virus takes time.
More reported cases may just mean a testing backlog is clearing, and
not necessarily that the situation is worsening, CDC said.
On Monday, the Alabama Department of Public Health said it was
investigating reports of children suspected to have contracted the
virus and had confirmed several cases in the southern part of the
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Over the weekend, the Connecticut Department of Public Health said
it had received reports of young children with severe illness from
two hospitals in different parts of the state that could be due to
To limit the spread of the illness, public health officials have
urged frequent hand washing and encouraged asthma patients to take
their medications and try to control their illness.
The summer and fall are prime seasons for enteroviruses to spread in
the United States, according to the CDC, and health officials expect
infections of the strain to taper off later this year.
(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Susan
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