Enterovirus D68 Blamed in Michigan Death

Enterovirus D68 has infected nearly 700 people and killed five since mid August

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has taken the life of 21-month-old Michigan toddler Madeline Reid. Her passing is the latest of five deaths tied to the recent EV-D68 outbreak, which began in mid-August.

Reid died Friday afternoon in a Detroit hospital from EV-D68, reports CNN.

EV-D68 is a flu-like strain of enterovirus that has infected 691 people in 46 US states in the past two months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Enterovirus is common in the US — CDC estimates range between 10 and 15 million yearly infections. Some types of the virus are so mild that many patients never know they are infected. But EV-D68, one strain of the nearly 100 types of enteroviruses, is much less common than the others and much more severe.

EV-D68 causes respiratory illness and most often affects children. It can be especially dangerous to those who already have breathing problems like asthma. Symptoms of EV-D68 can vary from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include fever, sneezing, cough and body aches. Severe symptoms include wheezing and trouble breathing, the CDC reports.

Anyone experiencing severe symptoms should seek immediate medical care.

The CDC reports that the number of confirmed cases of EV-D68 infection is likely to grow in the next few weeks due to the virus spreading and the fact that testing potentially infected samples can take time.

EV-D68 can spread when a sick patient coughs or sneezes near another person. It can also be spread through touching infected surfaces. The virus is most common during summer and fall, the CDC says.

Although anyone can get the virus, infants, children and teens are most at risk, the CDC reports. Because adults have had more time to build up immunity, they won't likely show severe symptoms of EV-D68. 

The CDC recommends washing your hands; avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth; staying home when you're sick; and frequently disinfecting often-touched surfaces like countertops and doorknobs to reduce your family's risk of catching EV-D68.

Review Date: 
October 13, 2014
Last Updated:
October 14, 2014