Recent outbreaks of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections, and their causal linkage with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), continue to pose a serious public health concern. During 2020 and 2021, the dynamics of EV-D68 and other pathogens have been significantly perturbed by non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19; this perturbation presents a powerful natural experiment for exploring the dynamics of these endemic infections. In this study, we analyzed publicly available data on EV-D68 infections, originally collected through the New Vaccine Surveillance Network, to predict their short- and long-term dynamics following the COVID-19 interventions. Although long-term predictions are sensitive to our assumptions about underlying dynamics and changes in contact rates during the NPI periods, the likelihood of a large outbreak in 2023 appears to be low. Comprehensive surveillance data are needed to accurately characterize future dynamics of EV-D68. The limited incidence of AFM cases in 2022, despite large EV-D68 outbreaks, poses further questions for the timing of the next AFM outbreaks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases
- COVID- 19
- Enterovirus D68
- Non-pharmaceutical intervention
- infectious disease moeling