Cases of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) are exploding all across the country with nearly 20 states reporting dozens of cases. The outbreaks are growing so quickly that the Centers for Disease Control are lagging far behind announced cases.
On Wednesday the Washington Post reported that 16 states had reported cases of the respiratory illness. But only hours later, New Jersey also announced it had found some cases quickly bringing that number up to 17. Then Minnesota became the 18th state later that same day.
The outbreak has been growing since at least mid-August.
The CDC confirms that children are most susceptible to D68 because their immune systems are not yet developed enough to beat the virus.
Also, the CDC says children with asthma seem to have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.
There are currently no vaccines for D68 and doctors suggest that those at risk keep their hands clean, avoid touching their faces, avoid kissing and hugging, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as counters, tables, and even toys.
So far, cases of D68 have been seen in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com