GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a healthy advisory this week after an increase in parechovirus cases.
The virus is known to cause a variety of diseases in humans, according to the CDC. Those at the most risk of extreme symptoms are babies three months or younger. Symptoms include fever, sepsis-like syndrome, seizures, and in some extreme cases, death.
The respiratory virus spreads through direct and indirect contact, which is why Dr. Daliya Khoun wants people to continue to practice proper hand washing hygiene. Helen Devos Children’s Hospital has seen several cases of this virus over the past month.
“Parechovirus does have a seasonality to it, here in North America. We typically see more parechoviruses — more so in the summer and fall. We do think that there is some two-to-three-year variability in the cycle where we see a spike in cases at that time,” Khoun said.
She indicated that immunity to PeV may have dropped during the peak of COVID-19 due to isolation practices.
In most cases, PeV is not deadly, and the CDC said it is possible that increased testing has led to a higher number of diagnoses.