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Enterovirus Surveillance -- United States, 1983

As part of continuing, laboratory-based surveillance of enterovirus infections in the United States, 33 state public health laboratories reported 752 enterovirus isolates to CDC from January to mid-September 1983. The most commonly reported enterovirus isolate was Coxsackie B5, accounting for 22.9% (172/752) of the isolates (Table 2). Coxsackie B5 was the most frequently reported nonpolio enterovirus in seven of the nine U.S. regions; it has not been isolated in such large numbers since a nationwide epidemic in 1972-1973. In 1982, it (Coxsackie B5) was the fifth most common isolate.

The predominant types of enteroviruses isolated each year may vary considerably (1). In 1981, the two most common isolates were echo 30 and echo 9, and in 1982, echo 30 and echo 11. Consistent with past experience, polioviruses were among the most common enteroviruses isolated; they are likely related to excretion of virus after administration of live poliovirus vaccine.

As in previous years, most isolates came from children--52.5% in the 0-4-year age group (395/752) and 64.2% in those through age 14 (483/752). The most frequently reported clinical syndromes were aseptic meningitis or encephalitis--20.6% (155/752)--the more common serious manifestations of enterovirus disease. Most enterovirus infections are asymptomatic or produce mild symptoms, such as fever, upper respiratory tract illness, gastroenteritis, and/or rash. Reported by Respective State Virus Laboratory Directors; Div of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: The above data on virus isolates were provided by 38 state laboratories with virus isolation capabilities; these states report monthly to CDC. Thirty-three of the 38 states have submitted the reports on which this report is based.

CDC has collected information on enterovirus isolates from state health departments since 1961 and established a voluntary, formal enterovirus surveillance program in 1969. The reporting unit is the patient; thus, multiple isolates from the same patient are only counted once, and the clinical diagnoses are reported in the following categories: (1) paralytic disease, (2) encephalitis, (3) aseptic meningitis, (4) carditis, (5) pneumonia/respiratory, (6) other, (7) unknown.

This laboratory-based surveillance system has been expanded to include isolates of noninfluenza respiratory viruses (surveillance of influenza virus isolates is maintained through a separate reporting system). Regular updates of the isolation patterns of respiratory viruses and enteroviruses will be published in the MMWR.


  1. CDC. Enterovirus surveillance: summary 1970-1979. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control, 1981.

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