4 Cases of Enterovirus EV68 Seen at CHOP

The rare enterovirus recently saw a surge of cases in the Midwest. It's not more contagious than any other viruses that cause respiratory illnesses.

Children’s Hopsital of Philadelphia announced Tuesday it had treated four patients with the enterovirus EV68 that had sickened hundreds of children in the midwest. All four kids treated for the virus at CHOP recovered in four to six days.

EV68 has been around for decades, but has seen a surge in cases in recent years. Fortunately, EV68 is not any more dangerous than any other viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. It’s just much less common.

“I really don’t know of any data to suggest that it’s more contagious than any other virus,” Dr. Susan Coffin of CHOP’s infectious disease department told Metro. “Here in Philadelphia, we know this virus has been in circulation in past years; it’s not actually a new virus. On the spectrum of illnesses, it is not distinct from other respiratory viruses.” I guess a spokes-doctor named Coffin is appropriate for a hospital named CHOP.

The disease has now been confirmed in at least a dozen states. There’s no vaccine for it, but the usual rules apply: Just like the Geator says, you gotta wash your hands.