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Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is known to be the cause of Kaposi sarcoma and primary effusion B-cell lymphoma in adults with HIV infection or immunosuppression from other causes. Serological studies have shown that HHV-8 infection in children is uncommon in the USA but common in some African countries. Now a study in Egypt (

) has demonstrated the features of primary HHV-8 infection in immunocompetent young children. At a hospital emergency department in Alexandria over a 5 month period (December 1999–April 2000) 36 of 86 (42%) 1–4 year old children with acute fever of unknown cause were HHV-8 seropositive. HHV-8 DNA sequences were detected in the saliva of 11 children and in the plasma of two of these 11 and three others. Six children were thought to have primary HHV-8 infection (PCR-positive, seronegative, repeat serology positive, in all three children tested). Five of these six presented with fever and a craniocaudal maculopapular rash.

Paediatric gastroenterologists in Australia (

) reviewed the records of 125 infants investigated with upper gastrointestinal biopsies and 24-hour oesophageal pH monitoring because of persistent crying and symptoms suggestive of gastro-oesophageal reflux and oesophagitis. Only 32 (26%) had histological evidence of oesophagitis and only nine of these 32 had abnormal results on pH monitoring. The other 23 were said …

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