Aims Presentation of Human Parechovirus (HPeV) in infants is often indistinguishable from those of bacterial sepsis and meningitis.
Methods We describe recent HPeV infection in 4 infants.
Results All 4 infants required a fluid bolus due to poor circulation. 2 babies had blanching maculopapular rash. Initial investigations in all cases showed a normal white cell count and CRP; bacterial cultures showed no growth; the cerebrospinal fluid PCR in all cases confirmed Parechovirus infection. All cases were young infants with varying illness as follows:
Conclusion An unusually high number of cases of parechovirus meningitis in infants have been reported in the United Kingdom during summer 2016. Young infants are particularly susceptible to aseptic HPeV meningitis and often present with non-specific symptoms that are difficult to differentiate from serious bacterial infections.
Most infants develop mild, self-limiting symptoms such as fever or rash, but some may progress to life-threatening illnesses including meningitis and multi-organ failure. HPeV have also been shown to cause extensive cerebral white matter damage resulting in developmental delay, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
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