Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, is causing cases of severe respiratory illness across the country, sometimes resulting in hospitalization, especially among children with asthma, according to the New York State Department of Health.
Last week, De Smet students brought home a letter from the school’s medical provider, Jill Hoek, PA-C of Avera Medical Group-De Smet. The letter stated that two young children in De Smet were being treated for enterovirus after one child tested positive for basic enterovirus and the other child exhibited similar symptoms. The letter states that pediatric specialists in Sioux Falls presume it is the D68 strain, but that identifying this strain takes a special test that can only be done at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a few other laboratories. Hospitals and state health labs test for enterorivuses but most do not perform the specialized testing necessary to distinguish individual strains such as EV-D68.
The CDC is experiencing a backlog in sample testing, the agency said on its website this week.