Parechovirus: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned a virus which is reported to cause serious illness in newborn babies.
The virus has been found circulating in multiple states after it recently killed a baby boy in Connecticut.
The virus named parechovirus, or PeV is commonly found in children. As per CDC, it has been found that most kids get this virus by the time they move to kindergarten.
Although, the virus is found not to cause serious damage in older adults, it can cause serious implications in infants who are younger than 3 months old.
In older kids who are between 6 months to 5 years of age, the virus is knonw to cause upper respiratory tract infection including rashes and fever. In addition to the above, it can also cause meningitis, seizures, and sepsis-like illness.
The virus is known to spread by people who are already symptomatic and asymptomatic, as per CDC. Please note that there are two main ways that parechovirus can be transmitted.
The first one happens to be the respiratory route while the other is the oral-fecal route.
The later is more commonly found as a source of infection among young kids. It happens when some invisible viruses or bacteria from one child’s stool infects the other one.
As per the CDC, the parechovirus is more commonly found during summer and fall.
It’s only the last week that CDC has issued a warning stating that doctors and other health care providers need to test for parechovirus in cases of an infant complains of symptoms like meningitis, seizure, neurological problems, sepsis-like syndrome, or unexplained fever.
Parechovirus: CDC Urges Health Care Providers to Test the Virus Among Kids With Illness
This is what the CDC shared, “Since May 2022, CDC has received reports from healthcare providers in multiple states of PeV infections in neonates and young infants,” the agency read.
The parechovirus has been so far confirmed in Connecticut where it killed a 34-day-old Ronan DeLancy. The symptoms that his parents noticed were like if he appeared tired, had a rash, stopped feeding.
This is what the CDC has to say, “Over the last five years, we’ve begun to realize that through mutations and more virulent subtypes, these viruses, particularly parechovirus, can be fatal,” said Andrew Wong, MD, a primary care provider the hospital group. If not fatal, it can cause lifelong debilities such as neuromuscular weakness and developmental delays.” it said.
“There is no specific treatment for PeV infection,” the CDC adds in its warning. “However, diagnosing PeV in infants might change management strategies and provide important health information for families.”