Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert in response to the growing numbers of parechovirus (PeV) cases among children and infants in the United States since May. Parechoviruses are extremely common pathogens that usually lead only to mild, if any, illness. The current surge of cases has been caused by a subvariant called A3, which tends to cause more serious disease, according to the CDC report.

William Schaffner, MD, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, says this CDC alert doesn’t necessitate panic. The announcement notifies healthcare providers and public health professionals about the increased cases of PeV so they can be on the lookout for it among their patients.

“It doesn’t have to get very bad for the CDC to let the medical community know what’s going on,” says Dr. Schaffner.

Because testing infrastructure for PeV has expanded in recent years, it’s possible that the increase in cases reflects more testing rather than more PeV, according to the alert.



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