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Enterovirus D68 Doesn't Raise Mortality Risk in Children

But it increases the likelihood of respiratory distress compared with rhinovirus, non-EV-D68

boy with cold

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) seems to be a more virulent pulmonary pathogen in children than rhinovirus or non-EV-D68 enterovirus, but it does not increase the risk of death, according to a study published Oct. 13 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Dominik Mertz, M.D., from McMaster University in Canada, and colleagues evaluated consecutive children presenting to a pediatric hospital (Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, 2014) with positive nasopharyngeal swabs for rhinovirus or enterovirus that were sent automatically for EV-D68 testing. Outcomes and characteristics of patients with EV-D68 were compared with those with rhinovirus or non-EV-D68 enterovirus (87 matched pairs).

The researchers found that 93 of 297 samples tested positive for EV-D68. EV-D68 infection increased the likelihood of children having difficulty breathing (odds ratio [OR], 3). Admission to the critical care unit and death did not significantly differ between children with EV-D68 infection and those with other rhinovirus or enterovirus infections (adjusted OR, 1.47; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.61 to 3.52). EV-D68 infection increased the likelihood of children being admitted to the hospital but not significantly so (adjusted OR, 2.29; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.96 to 5.46).

"Enterovirus D68 seems to be a more virulent pulmonary pathogen than rhinovirus or non-EV-D68 enterovirus, but we did not find a significant difference in death or need for critical care," conclude the authors.

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