Enterovirus D68 detections lower than expected in 2020

Enterovirus D68 detections lower than expected in 2020

(HealthDay)—Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) detections were lower than anticipated in 2020, according to research published in the Nov. 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that the number of EV-D68 detections followed a biennial pattern during 2014 to 2018 in the United States, Melisa M. Shah, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed recent levels of EV-D68. EV-D68 detections in respiratory specimens collected from patients aged <18 years with acute respiratory illness (ARI) evaluated within the New Vaccine Surveillance Network were summarized. Provisional descriptions of EV-D68 detections during July to November 2018, 2019, and 2020 were provided and the demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients were described.

The researchers note that 382 EV-D68 detections in respiratory specimens from patients aged <18 years were reported in 2018; this number decreased to six and 30 in 2019 and 2020, respectively. In 2020, 73 percent of the patients with EV-D68 were non-Hispanic Black.

“Circulation of EV-D68 in 2020 might have been limited by widespread COVID-19 mitigation measures, and changing mitigation measures might influence future EV-D68 circulation patterns,” the authors write. “Continued monitoring of EV-D68 circulation is critical to guiding clinical and public health preparedness for both EV-D68-associated ARI and acute flaccid myelitis.”

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