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CDC Warns of Virus That Causes Severe Illness in Infants Under 3 Months

Federal officials announced Thursday that doctors in multiple states had reported a virus that can cause seizures, meningitis, and other severe illnesses in infants under three months.

Since May, the CDC has notified doctors and public health departments of cases of parechovirus in newborns and young infants.

Infections in young children have been reported in several jurisdictions, but the alert does not specify which states or how many instances have been reported.

Although parechovirus is not systematically monitored, how the number of cases compares to earlier seasons is unclear. However, increased testing could be related to the increased number of cases.

The CDC reported that every positive case had involved PeV-A3, one of the most commonly causing parechoviruses to cause severe disease.

The FDA said that the virus, in children older than six months, is a typical childhood infection that spreads by sneezing, coughing, saliva, and feces and causes less severe illness, the FDA said. Rash, fever, and an upper respiratory tract infection are all symptoms.

Researchers have found that white blood cells have vanished or are close to disappearing in the spinal fluid of babies with severe parechovirus infections.

There is no treatment for the virus.

To prevent the disease from spreading to nurseries or neonatal intensive care units, doctors are urged to test for the virus and keep infants hospitalized with infections together.

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