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Monday 27 July 2015
Enterovirus D68 Infection, Chile, 2014

Juan P. Torres, Mauricio J. Farfan, Giannina Izquierdo, Paula Piemonte, Juan Henriquez, Miguel L. O’Ryan 

Enterovirus D68 Infection, Chile, Spring 2014

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is an emergent viral pathogen associated with severe respiratory illness, especially in children with asthma. The epidemic in the United States has expanded to 47 states; These authours in Chile, because of clinical suspicion of infection caused by the same EV-D68 reported in the United States, conducted further testing. They selected 6 children who were at Clinica Las Condes (CLC), Santiago, during September– October 2014, for whom nasopharyngeal samples were enterovirus positive. Of the 6 patients, EV-D68 was confirmed for 2 patients.

That these cases are virologically and clinically related to those reported in the United States documents that the virus had been introduced to the Southern Hemisphere during the spring of 2014. This virus has been previously identified in the region but only sporadically. The virus could spread to other areas in Santiago and to other cities, and similar suations could occur in other Latin American countries, especially those with many residents who travel to the United States. Publichealth officials need to be notified of this potential, and appropriate surveillance and treatment strategies need to be implemented.