CDC issues health advisory after uptick in parechovirus infections

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — The Centers for Disease Control sent out a health advisory this week for an uptick in cases of parechovirus infections.

Parechovirus refers to a group of viruses that are common in children, with most catching the viruses by the time they hit kindergarten.

These viruses cause symptoms like fevers, runny noses, and coughs.

Most older children recover, but the viruses can cause severe illness in babies under three months of age.

Doctors with Mayo Clinic say they’re seeing newborns with sepsis-like symptoms and swelling around the brain.

“Thankfully, most of the cases reported have been mild, and the child has recovered on their own,” said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious disease expert. “But it is possible to have long-term issues, especially neurodevelopmental in some children who have more severe involvement of the brain.”

There is no antiviral or other treatment for the illness.

To protect your baby from the virus, experts say you should avoid anyone who may be sick.

Wash your hand thoroughly and avoid crowded areas where viruses can spread, especially in the baby’s first few months of life.

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