NEW YORK – The CDC denies a causal link between the surge of illegal-alien children from Latin America and the enterovirus D-68 outbreak in the United States, but government data show the virus was rare in the U.S. before this year.
“There is no evidence that unaccompanied children brought EV-D68 into the United States; we are not aware of any of these children testing positive for the virus,” the CDC emailed WND in response to a request for comment.
The CDC argued EV-D68 is not new to the U.S., having been identified in California in 1962.
“In previous years, it has not been as commonly identified as other enteroviruses,” CDC said. “This year’s increase in confirmed cases is not due to a recent introduction in the United States.”
However, evidence buried in peer-reviewed medical journals provides support for the argument enterovirus D-68, or EV-D68, in the United States was a relatively rare disease. The EV-D68 epidemic occurred only after the surge this year of unaccompanied alien children illegally crossing the border from Latin America, a region where the virus is more prevalent among young children.
The CDC records nearly 700 people who have been diagnosed with the virus this year. Five children have died while infected.
As WND reported Tuesday, EV-D68, believed to cause polio-like paralysis in addition to flu symptoms, is widely suspected to have a direct connection to the Obama administration policy of placing across the U.S. tens of thousands of minors who have been allowed to enter without a health screening.
D-68 surge coincides with illegal aliens
The surge in EV D-68 in the U.S. became evident in mid-September when the CDC first reported it had reached epidemic levels in six U.S. states: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri.
The surge in unaccompanied minors was also evident in September, with the numbers jumping from 16,067 apprehended in Fiscal Year 2011 to 24,481 in FY 2012 and from 38,833 in FY 2013 to 47,017 in the first eight months of FY 2014.
Currently, a page on the CDC website dedicated to “Enterovirus D68 in the United States, 2014” discloses, “The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness.”
The CDC website goes on to document that from mid-August to Oct. 10, CDC or state public health laboratories confirmed a total of 691 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
“Many state health departments are currently investigating reported increases in cases of severe respiratory illness in children,” the CDC website continues.
“This increase could be caused by many different viruses that are common during this time of year. EV-D68 appears to be the predominant type of enterovirus this year and is likely contributing to the increases in severe respiratory illnesses.”
The CDC is currently investigating whether limb weakness and polio-like paralysis symptoms experienced in nine children in Denver is connected with the current EV-D68 epidemic.
In 2011, the CDC reported EV-D68 is a unique enterovirus that shares epidemiologic and biologic features with human rhinoviruses (HRV).
The 2011 report noted EV-D68 was first isolated in California in 1962 from four children with bronchiolitis and pneumonia, with EV-D68 only rarely reported since that time.
Jane Orient, M.D., of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, responded to the Centers for Disease Control’s denial of a causal link between the virus and the surge of illegal-alien minors.
“Keep in mind that Latin American children likely have some immunity and may not be sick, while still contagious,” she told WND.
The concern is that Latin American children in the U.S. might be carriers of EV-D68 even if they display no symptoms of the disease. It can be spread, the study said, by sneezing, coughing and the poor bathroom hygiene commonly found among Latin American unaccompanied alien children. The disease can be transmitted by “feces-to-mouth” contact between an infected person showing no symptoms and a previously uninfected person.
WND reported last week, a peer-reviewed article by German medical doctors challenges a key CDC assumption regarding Ebola, concluding patients who show no symptoms can still transmit a virus like Ebola to another person by a sneeze or a cough.
“Some serious work needs to be done to get to the bottom of this,” Orient said, suggesting a Freedom of Information Act request of CDC confirmations of EV-D68 patient records might reveal important information about how the disease is being contracted in the current epidemic.
Enterovirus D-68 was ‘rare’ in U.S.
A study conducted by physicians from the Division of Viral Diseases at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases published on the CDC website states Enterovirus D-68 “is one of the most rarely reported serotypes, with only 26 reports throughout the 36-year study period (1970 through 2006).”
Demonstrating the rareness of EV-D68 virus infection, the report documented that during 1970-2005, a total of 52,812 nonpolio enterovirus detections, the vast majority of which were different strains of enterovirus that EV-D68, were reported to CDC. Of these, 29,772 detections were reported from 1983 to 2005.
On average, 1,467 nonpolio enterovirus reports were submitted annually, varying from 388 in 1999 to 3,460 in 1972.
The link between EV D-68 and Latin American children was established in a peer-reviewed medical article published in Virology Journal on Oct. 11, 2013, titled “Human rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in influenza-like illness in Latin America.” It was co-authored by a team of virologists headed by Josefina Garcia, U.S. Naval Medical Unit 6 in Lima, Peru, who worked with the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
In the 2013 study, Garcia and her medical associates collected 3,375 nose and throat swab samples from subjects under 8 years old, with a median age of 3 years. They found that human enteroviruses (HEV), including EV-D68, was discovered in 3 percent of the samples while the related human rhinoviruses (HRV) was found in 16 percent of the samples.
The study concluded: “In Latin America as in other regions, HRVs and HEVs account for a substantial proportion of viruses identified in young people with ILI (Influenza-like Illness), a finding that provides additional support for the development of pharmaceuticals and vaccines targeting these pathogens.”
There is also little doubt in the medical literature that EV-D68 is transmitted through poor bathroom hygiene.
A typical example cited is an infected doorknob that could transmit a virus to healthy children for the next three to five days, with a secondary possibility of transmission via the respiratory “oral-to-oral” route more likely to occur in crowded living conditions.
A memo dated July 30 from DHS Inspector General John Roth to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson documented the following regarding the surge of Latin American youth being held in DHS facilities on the southern border: “UAC and family units and unfamiliarity with bathroom facilities resulted in unsanitary conditions and exposure to human waste in some holding facilities.”
The same memo said: “Many UAC and family units require treatment for communicable diseases, including respiratory illnesses, tuberculosis, chicken pox, and scabies.”