HEALTH ALERT: ENTEROVIRUS OUTBREAK APPEARS TO BE SPREADING
September 8, 2014
By: Scott Anthony / Jason Knight
The CDC on the heels of what appears to be a major outbreak of Enterovirus, published the MMWR (Early Release) which outlined the current Enterovirus-68 illness which is sweeping the heartland of the United States rapidly. As of Monday, 10 states had reached out to the CDC for help in identifying clusters of enterovirus illnesses: Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
UPDATE: WebMD is citing CDC sources as stating that over 1000 children have been infected in 12 states, not 10, and there is concern that the virus has the potential to become widespread quickly. The number of hospitalizations reported so far could be "just the tip of the iceberg in terms of severe cases," Mark Pallansch, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Viral Diseases, told CNN.
But EV-D68 is often hard to distinguish from its relatives so the virus could be in other states as well.According to the CDC, the enterovirus is a RNA virus similar to the "common cold" (rhinovirus) however, the illness it causes is much more severe; symptoms include the usual upper respiratory issues, along with headache, joint pain, fever and the more severe symptoms of acute respiratory failure / asthma. Looking at the CDC website, the disease is classified under "Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection" with the following general symptoms:
"Most people who are infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick, or they only have mild illness. Symptoms of mild illness may include:
- runny nose, sneezing, cough
- skin rash
- mouth blisters
- body and muscle aches
Some non-polio enterovirus infections can cause
- viral conjunctivitis,
- hand, foot, and mouth disease,
- viral meningitis (infection of the covering of the spinal cord and/or brain).
Less commonly, a person may develop:
- myocarditis (infection of the heart)
- pericarditis (infection of the sac around the heart)
- encephalitis (infection of the brain)
People who develop myocarditis may have heart failure and require long term care. Some people who develop encephalitis or paralysis may not fully recover.
Newborns infected with non-polio enterovirus may develop sepsis (infection of the blood and other organs). But this is very rare."
|CDC Takes to Twitter Stating it's "watching the enterovirus situation closely" on 9/8/14|
Obviously, the Enterovirus-68 is one to be taken seriously, as multiple reports have come in stating that the virus, which appears to be attacking children more than adults, is causing an acute rise in Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit admissions. The CDC is reporting via social media that it is "monitoring" the #Enterovirus outbreak, however, looking at the CDC official website where it monitors such illnesses, the latest update was 6 days ago on 9/2/14:
FNN has contacted the CDC via twitter, and is looking to establish an open line of communication with the Center for Disease Control as there is likely to be much speculation and rumor surrounding the Enterovirus outbreak. FNN also would like to have some questions answered regarding the potential influx of persons from Southern regions like Mexico, Central America, etc., as a possible source for what appears to be an outbreak out of nowhere.
FNN will keep you posted with any further information we are able to obtain.
9/8/14 17:20 EDT