Tests that took weeks will now take only days
The testing process for a common enterovirus known to cause reparatory illness is getting streamlined.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a faster test for EV-D68, a strain of enterovirus that has sent hundreds of children to the hospital, particularly affecting those with asthma.
“CDC has received substantially more specimens for enterovirus lab testing than usual this year, due to the large outbreak of EV-D68 and related hospitalizations,” said Anne Schuchat, MD, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a statement Tuesday. “When rare or uncommon viruses suddenly begin causing severe illness, CDC works quickly to develop diagnostic tests to enhance our response and investigations. This new lab test will reduce what would normally take several weeks to get results to a few days.”
The faster enterovirus testing will help the CDC track the recent outbreak of EV-D68, which began over the summer and appears to be continuing through the fall as children across the country return to school.