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Non-polio enteroviruses are a group of viruses that commonly cause illness, including upper respiratory infections. Symptoms can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. The vast majority of people infected with an enterovirus, however, will have only mild symptoms and recover quickly.

Enterovirus D-68 Boy with Oxygen MaskNon-polio enteroviruses cause about 10–15 million infections in the U.S. each year, and while anyone can get infected with enteroviruses, infants, children, and teenagers are more likely to get infected and become sick due to lack of prior exposure and immunity. Enterovirus D68 is one type of non-polio enterovirus and was first identified in 1962. Recently, however, it has been implicated in clusters of severe respiratory illness in children and adolescents, initially in the Midwest. Many of these patients had an underlying history of asthma or wheezing and required hospitalization.

Because EV-D68 has rarely been reported before in the U.S., it is unknown to what extent this strain of enterovirus can cause infection. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 other than supportive care. Public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DHHS Division of Public Health Services are actively monitoring the situation and assisting healthcare providers in testing for enterovirus infection if needed.

Contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at (603) 271-4496 if you have questions.

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