ECDC has published Outbreak of enterovirus A71 in Catalonia, Spain - rapid risk assessment. Excerpt from the summary:
ECDC has published a rapid risk assessment due to a localised outbreak of neurological symptoms associated with enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) in Catalonia, Spain.
Most EV infections, including EV-A71, result in asymptomatic infection. Most symptomatic EV-A71 infections manifest as a self-limiting hand, foot and mouth disease and only a very small proportion of patients develop severe and life-threatening disease. The current outbreak is notable in terms of its magnitude and the severity of symptoms of the reported cases.
The outbreak with neurological complications caused by enterovirus has been ongoing in Catalonia since mid-April 2016, affecting children up to ten years of age. As of 7 June, 87 cases of enterovirus infection with neurological complications have been reported, most of which have evolved favourably, but 22 of the cases remain in hospital, including seven in intensive care units. According to the information received from regional authorities, there are no deaths related to this outbreak. The cases are widespread in Catalonia.
Other EU Member States have not reported concomitant enterovirus outbreaks and ECDC is not aware of signals of other unusual enterovirus outbreaks in the EU.
There is evidence to suggest that the epidemiological pattern of EV-A71 in Europe is going through a change, both due to virus molecular evolution, as well as an increasing likelihood of importation of new virus strains from outside the EU.
The full characterisation of the isolates from the Spanish outbreak, and comparison of these to virus sequences from other countries and continents, should contribute to a better understanding of the changing pattern of EV-A71 epidemiology in Europe.