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Six Enterovirus Clusters Spark CDC Warning

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The CDC is warning clinicians that a rare enterovirus caused six clusters of respiratory illness – including several deaths – from 2008 to 2011.

Three of the clusters, involving 39 people, occurred in the U.S., the agency said in the Sept. 30 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; another 56 people were affected in Asia and Europe.

More than half of the cases in the six clusters occurred in children under age 5.

The pathogen is human enterovirus 68 (HEV68), which has epidemiological and biological similarities to human rhinoviruses. It was first isolated in 1962 and has been reported only rarely since then, the CDC said.

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