(RxWiki News) Respiratory illness cases caused by enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) are increasing in several states, and Missouri and Illinois have been the hardest hit.
The virus has spread to states in the South, Midwest and Northeast since the first cases were reported in mid-August of this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed a total of 140 cases in 16 states, as of Wednesday.
"Seek medical care for cold symptoms."
The states with lab-confirmed cases of EV-D68 are Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The CDC notes that the number of states with confirmed cases will likely increase in the coming weeks as labs return more test results on suspected EV-D68 cases.
Other states like New Jersey have noted suspected cases, but the results are not confirmed. A children's hospital in Ottawa, Canada has also reported a few cases.
EV-D68 was first confirmed in 1962. It is thought to be more rare than other types of enteroviruses.
Enteroviruses are fairly common, reports the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH). Around 10 or 15 million people catch them each year. Most present with mild or no symptoms.
Symptoms of EV-D68 include fever, runny nose, cough, wheezing and other asthma symptoms. Although some cases present mild symptoms, many children have had to be hospitalized. Children with respiratory conditions like asthma appear to be particularly vulnerable.
According to the CDC, there is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. In mild cases, patients may need only symptom treatment.
EV-D68 is thought to spread through contact with infected people of bodily fluids, the NJDH reports.