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To By Linda Carroll
The association between a respiratory virus, the enterovirus D68, and a polio-like disease was supported by new investigations showing an increase in the virus and reports of acute flaccid Myelitis in children in 2018, suggests a new government report.
The report was released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supporting earlier investigations that invade the virus every two years as well as in late summer and early fall.
In 2018, 358 out of 2,579 tested patients were positive for EV-D68. In the same year, the CDC confirmed 223 cases of polio-like disease, acute flaccid myelitis. Compared with 2017 when researchers found the virus in two out of 2,433 patients with acute respiratory disease.
The mean age of patients positive for EV-D68 was 3. Nearly 60 percent of EV D68 patients were male, according to CDC.
The new report came from a network that tracks acute respiratory disease in children and adolescents under the age of 18 in seven US medical centers: Cincinnati; Houston; Kansas City, Mo .; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Rochester, N.Y. and Seattle.
This peak in 2018 cases suggests there will be fewer infections with EV-D68 and fewer cases of AFM by 2019, Dr. Matthew Elrick, neurologist for pediatrics and AFM expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told NBC News. "But just because it's been every other year so far does not mean that it will remain just about every other year."
AFM first attracted attention in 2014, when 120 cases were reported nationwide.
The connection to EV-D68 is difficult to prove because the symptoms of AFM have often appeared after the respiratory tract has died down, said Elrick, and tests have shown that several viruses, such as coxsackievirus A16 and enterovirus A71, are present in the Body of patients were reported to CDC.
"But the fact that outbreaks of EV-D68 and AFM come together – there were peaks in the number of cases in 2014, 2016 and 2018 – and the fact that EV-D68 occurs in respiratory samples of approximately AFM patients undoubtedly support the fact that they are likely to be the leading pathogen, "said Elrick.
Experts suggest that many of the children infected with EV-D68 have respiratory symptoms, 196590 07]" It There's probably a very small percentage of children who get an infection and develop AFM as a result, "Elrick said," Most of them are asymptomatic or have a slight cold. "
Scientists are still learning how AFM resembles polio, while both AFM is very rare, but that could change, Elrick said, causing polio not to become widespread Problem, and EV-D68 belongs to the same virus family.
Some experts have suggested that enterovirus could mutate to become more infectious. So far, "there is no evidence that changes in the virus are related to transmission or infectivity," Dr. Susan Gerber, CDC researcher in the Department of Viral Diseases at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told NBC News in an email.
Data from the CDC show an increasing number of cases in even years:
- In 2017, the CDC received information on 35 confirmed cases of AFM in 16 states.
- In 2016, the CDC received information for 149 confirmed cases of AFM in 39 states and DC
- In 2015, CDC received information on 22 confirmed cases of AFM in 17 states.
- From August to December 2014, CDC received information for 120 confirmed cases of AFM in 34 states.
Elrick said that the number of children diagnosed with AFM in 2018 is worrying, as they are in line with the trend of increasing cases shown in recent years.