Enterovirus D68

Type: Viral

Geography: United States, Europe, Southeast Asia

Cases Per Year: 10 to 1,400

Fatality Rate: 1%

First Discovered: 1962 in California, United States

EV-D68 is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses. It can cause mild to severe respiratory illness or can be asymptomatic. Mild symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches, and muscle aches. Severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing. The virus is found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions and likely spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that is then touched by others.

The majority of cases have occurred late in the enterovirus season, between August and September in the Northern Hemisphere. Children under 5 years old and children with asthma appear to be most at risk for the illness, though it also affects adults with asthma and immunosuppression.

A mix of enteroviruses circulate each year, and different types of enteroviruses are common in different years. Therefore, the number of cases varies widely.

Photo: Enterovirus D68 particles – Electron micrograph.