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Enterovirus Surveillance -- United States, 1989

Nonpolio enterovirus (NPEV) surveillance data show that isolates from March through May predict the types likely to be isolated in July through December, which includes the peak enterovirus season (1). State virology laboratories have reported to CDC 31 NPEV isolates obtained from patients in the United States from March through May 1989. Coxsackievirus B5 was isolated most frequently (16 isolates), followed by echovirus 6 (two isolates), and coxsackievirus B3, coxsackievirus A3, and echovirus 9 (one each); 10 isolates were reported as untyped enteroviruses.

Of the 946 NPEV isolates reported in 1988, the six most common were echovirus 11 (18.6%), echovirus 9 (14.1%), coxsackievirus B4 (10.6%), coxsackievirus B2 (9.2%), echovirus 6 (6.2%), and coxsackievirus B5 (5.1%). In 1988, these six NPEV types represented 64% of the total enterovirus isolates. Reported by: State virology laboratory directors. Respiratory and Enterovirus Br, Div of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: Enteroviruses are a group of 65 different, common agents that cause 10-20 million mild upper respiratory infections in the United States every year. Enteroviruses are also responsible for tens of thousands of hospitalizations for aseptic meningitis each year. Knowledge of the common enterovirus subtypes may assist diagnostic laboratories in more rapidly identifying enterovirus isolates and assist public health officials in recognizing outbreaks of enteroviral disease.

Since 1970, state health department laboratories have reported on enterovirus serotypes to CDC approximately 6-8 weeks after specimens are submitted for identification. From 1970 through 1983, the six most common isolates in March through May accounted for an average of 59% of the isolates in July through December, and for this period in 1984-1988, for 50%-58% of the isolates.

The NPEV isolates reported in early 1989 included many coxsackievirus B5 and several of three other types; however, the limited number of these four types makes it impossible to predict at this time that they will be common isolates in 1989. The top six isolates reported in 1988 and each of the four isolates reported in March through May 1989 were in the 15 most frequent isolates for 1970-1983 (1).


  1. Strikas RA, Anderson LJ, Parker RA. Temporal and geographic patterns of isolates of nonpolio enterovirus in the United States, 1970-1983. J Infect Dis 1986;153:346-51.

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