Via Eurosurveillance: A note from the editors: Enterovirus D68 epidemiology in France and Germany—food for thought. Excerpt:
Worldwide emergence of enterovirus (EV) D68 causing severe respiratory illness particularly in children, between 2008 and 2014, has been described in numerous articles. In 2014, EV-D68 gained particular attention when a large outbreak in children, associated with severe respiratory illness and possible neurological illness, occurred in the United States. This event triggered a number of surveillance activities in various countries, some of them published in Eurosurveillance. In our current issue we present investigations into the occurrence of EV-D68 in two European countries namely France and Germany.
The articles present data from patients hospitalised or visiting hospital emergency departments with respiratory symptoms. Schuffenecker et al. report on samples collected by eleven laboratories of the French EV surveillance network from eight of 22 Regions over six months in 2014. These eleven laboratories represent about one-third of the laboratories participating in the French EV network. Böttcher et al. analysed samples during two entire years, 2013 and 2014, at three large tertiary hospital laboratories in Germany. These laboratories, situated mainly in the western part of the country, contribute ca 25% of the EV-positive samples in the nationwide RespVir surveillance.
Both reports are based on a considerable number of screened respiratory samples: 6,229 samples with 212 EV-D68 detections corresponding to 200 cases in France; 14,838 samples with 39 EV-D68-positive cases in Germany.
In line with the literature, the German analysis suggests seasonality of EV-D68 infections, with most cases occurring between September and November (weeks 36‒48), and even though covering only six months, also the French analysis shows peaks in October (week 43) and November (week 48). Moreover, cases in both countries occurred mainly in children younger than five years, although French authors caution that a bias towards preferential sampling of children cannot be ruled out.