In 2014 there was a nationwide outbreak of severe respiratory illness in the United States that was mostly caused by enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68). However, a proportion of illnesses were due to rhinoviruses and other enteroviruses which the authors wanted to characterise further. They examined respiratory specimens from paediatric and adult patients with respiratory illness in 2014. Out of 2629 typed specimens, 39% were EV-D68 and 3.1% were one of 24 other EV types; 37% were rhinoviruses (RVs), covering 114 types and grouped into three human RV species (RV-A 446, RV-B 133 and RV-C 389); and 22% had no RV or EV detected. EV-D68 was more frequently identified in patients presenting earlier in the investigation period. Among the patients with EV-D68, RV-A, RV-B or RV-C, the age distributions markedly differed. However, the clinical syndromes seen and rates of ICU admissions by age were similar among those patients with EV-D68 and other RV species. Therefore RVs were commonly associated with severe respiratory illness, alongside EV-D68, during the nationwide outbreak.
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