CDC Raises Concerns Over Mysterious Infant Disease After Several Reports Nationwide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a virus that can cause seizures, meningitis, and other severe illnesses in infants under three months old.

CDC has received reports from healthcare providers from various states of parechovirus (PeV) infections in neonates and young infants since May 2022.

“Parechoviruses are a group of viruses known to cause a spectrum of diseases in humans. Clinicians are encouraged to include PeV in the differential diagnoses of infants presenting with fever, sepsis-like syndrome, or neurologic illness (seizures, meningitis) without another known cause and to test for PeV in children with signs and symptoms compatible with PeV infection,” CDC said.

Parechovirus is common with most kids likely to be infected when they begin kindergarten, and usually causes upper respiratory tract infection, fever, and rash in children between 6 months and 5 years old.

However, parechovirus can lead to seizures swelling of the brain and surrounding tissue, and sepsis-like illness, often requiring hospitalization in infants less than 3 months, particularly for those under 1 month.

CDC said that parechovirus circulates in the summer and fall seasons, and spreads through sneezing, coughing, saliva, and feces.

“There is no specific treatment for PeV infection. However, diagnosing PeV in infants might change management strategies and provide important health information for families,” CDC said.

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