New Studies About Parechovirus Shows Alarming ResultsBy Maria Victoria Quiroz, UniversityHerald Reporter
Parechovirus has been around since 1956, however, it was previously known as echoviruses 22 and 23. The virus causes mild gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms that could be transferred through direct contact with nose and throat fluids.
In 2014, Australia was shaken by the announcement of a new potentially fatal virus the targets infants. Parents and doctors were alerted after the discovery of a new virus that hospitalized several babies in 2013, but it was only in 2014 that it was officially named as "Parechovirus."
According to ABC News, in the recent meeting of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID), a new research of the virus showed that half of the babies hospitalized due to Parechovirus in 2013 and 2014 suffered speaking and problem solving deficiency.
ASID President Professor, Cheryl Jones, admits they still know so little about the virus and still hasn't found any specific treatment nor vaccine to the virus yet. She stated that the goal of the research is to improve their understanding of the long-term effect of the virus especially in children. She added that the it is not a simple virus that babies could easily get over with that's why they have to discover the long-term effect of the virus.
The NSW Health Department said that the virus apparently does not show any symptoms. The only manifestation is that it causes mild diarrhea and respiratory infection on the onset of the disease. Health officials also added that adults as well can get infected by the virus but it is the infants who are largely at risk.
Just this year, according to The Courier Mail, 55 cases of Parechovirus was reported in Queensland, Australia, nearly 90 percent of them are infants. Doctor Jones also raised awareness to the doctors and parents stating that they always to be on alert for the virus "It also highlights our need to develop an adequate response, and whilst we are not anticipating a global epidemic, we can certainly be confident that we will have further outbreaks in Australia," she said.