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Human coronavirus (HCoV) NL63 is recognized as a common cause of upper respiratory infections and influenza-like illness. In screening children with acute undifferentiated febrile illness in a school cohort in rural Haiti, we identified HCoV-NL63 in blood samples from four children. Cases clustered over an 11-day period; children did not have respiratory symptoms, but two had gastrointestinal complaints. On phylogenetic analysis, the Haitian HCoV-NL63 strains cluster together in a highly supported monophyletic clade linked most closely with recently reported strains from Malaysia; two respiratory HCoV-NL63 strains identified in north Florida in the same general period form a separate clade, albeit again with close linkages with the Malaysian strains. Our data highlight the variety of presentations that may be seen with HCoV-NL63, and underscore the apparent ease with which CoV strains move among countries, with our data consistent with recurrent introduction of strains into the Caribbean (Haiti and Florida) from Asia.
Authors' addresses: Valery M. Beau de Rochars, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida and Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. John Lednicky, Sarah White, Julia Loeb, Maha A. Elbadry, and Bernard A. Okech, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL and Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Taina Telisma, Sonese Chavannes, and Marie Gina Anilis, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida and Christianville Foundation, School Clinic, Gressier, Haiti, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Eleonora Cella, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, and Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Reference Centre on Phylogeny, Molecular Epidemiology and Microbial Evolution (FEMEM)/Epidemiology Unit, Instituto Superiore de Sanita, Rome, Italy, E-mail: email@example.com. Massinno Ciccozzi, Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Reference Centre on Phylogeny, Molecular Epidemiology and Microbial Evolution (FEMEM)/Epidemiology Unit, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Lazio, Italy, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Marco Salemi, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, and Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: email@example.com. J. Glenn Morris Jr., Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, and Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.