As with other common germs, it can be spread through later ingestion of feces – from poor hand washing – and through airborne droplets when coughing or sneezing. It is spread by people who have symptoms of the infection and by those who have no symptoms.
According to the CDC, the bacteria can reproduce in the upper respiratory tract for 1 to 3 weeks and in the gastrointestinal tract for up to 6 months.
Parechovirus often causes a rash on the hands and feet, which some experts refer to as “gloves and shoes,” says Christina Angel Bryant, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Louisville Hospital.
The CDC urges doctors to test for Parechovirus if they recognize these symptoms in children and have no other explanation for their distress.
Is parechovirus preventable?
Parechovirus is transmitted by respiratory droplets and fecal-oral contact. Experts recommend keeping young children out in public spaces, similar to COVID-19 protocol, practice social distancing when taking your kids outside.
The hygiene procedures we have become familiar with for many years can also help prevent the spread of Parechovirus. Hand washing, especially after diaper changes and public exposure, can be helpful.
There is no specific treatment for Parechovirus, just like dengue and so prevention is key. And because there’s no standard testing method, experts aren’t sure if the number of Parechovirus infections in 2022 will be higher than in previous years.
Anxiety caused by Parechovirus for parents
Parents should contact a doctor anytime a child younger than 3 months has a fever – even a mild fever, as fever can be a side effect of Parechovirus.
Respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, rash and behavioral changes should all be noted and reported to a doctor or specialist.
According to Bryant, the message for parents is: Don’t panic. “This is not a new virus.” “One of the most common symptoms is fever, and in some children, that’s the only symptom,” she says. She also says, “Older infants and toddlers may only have cold symptoms, and some children have no symptoms at all.”
But severe cases of Parechovirus in infants younger than 3 months can be more serious and potentially fatal. The CDC says they “may develop sepsis-like illness, seizures, and meningitis or encephalitis, especially in infants younger than 1 month.” If your child has any of these symptoms, please contact your pediatrician immediately.
Because there is no good surveillance or testing for this virus, it’s not clear how common deadly infections like Ronan’s disease really are. A 2010 autopsy study from Wisconsin found that Parechoviruses were present in at least 18 children who died in that state over the course of 17 years, but it is unclear if those viruses actually caused the deaths. infants or not.
The case of a Connecticut infant
When baby Ronan was born on May 21 this year, he was a ‘healthy, full-term’ boy weighing 8 pounds-5 ounces. But about 10 days later, his mother Kat DeLancy started noticing some redness on his face but no fever and “seemed perfectly fine.”
After a few days, Ronan got angry and cried. He stopped eating anything and his chest turned red. He was drowsy and his energy levels were down.
Doctors suspected it might be the crying, but “I just had a bad feeling,” DeLancy said. “He doesn’t look good to me.” Then he looked pale and his oxygen levels dropped.
Immediately, the child was intubated and they discovered Ronan was having a seizure. Brain scans show some repairable damage. But tests took four days to discover that he was infected with Parechovirus.
Ronan died a month after confirming a severe version of a common virus, which appeared in many states. On July 13, the CDC issued an alert warning all parents and doctors that the virus had been recorded in several states and that all samples collected were for the variant. the most serious of the virus, PeV-A3.
How to avoid disease?
Washing hands and avoiding kissing or sharing drinks are important in preventing the deadly virus. Parents should not be blamed when their child is seriously ill with Parechovirus.
Since there’s no good surveillance or testing for the virus, it’s not clear how common deadly infections like the Ronan infection really are. A 2010 autopsy study from Wisconsin found that at least 18 children died in that state within 17 years of Parechovirus infection, but it remains unclear whether the virus actually caused infant deaths. .
DeLancy, Wong and Bocchini all believe that higher virus awareness and testing now will help suppliers better understand the scope of the problem. This could lead to future antiviral treatments for the disease, rapid tests or, someday, a vaccine for pregnant mothers.
“It’s a long-term goal,” DeLancy said, but she hopes in a decade or so, “they’ll be able to give them a drug or something to treat before it escalates to the point of need.” have to go to the hospital.”