“He tells us his baby is up with his moon and his stars,” she said.
Have cases of parechovirus increased?
Parechovirus tends to circulate in late summer and early fall, usually peaking every two years, the CDC says. But beyond that, there isn’t much specific information about national infection rates and whether they are increasing.
“It’s not something we test for often, or we necessarily need to test for,” said Dr. patella. “It’s not a virus that we track nationally, like flu.”
The CDC warning said it has received reports of cases since May, but did not specify how many or in which states. However, it noted that the cases were all a subtype of parechovirus known as A3, which is usually linked to serious illness.
Experts said we may be in the midst of an unusual increase in more serious cases, exacerbated by what Dr. Alex Greninger, an assistant professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, called it “the 2022 effect.” : People were not exposed to common pathogens during Covid lockdowns, which may have compromised their immune systems. Now people are coming out more and more, he said, and spreading germs more than they used to.
But it’s just as possible that we simply test more for parechovirus in babies who show meningitis-like symptoms, which could lead to an apparent increase in diagnoses. In recent years, many hospitals have started using a test that checks the spinal fluid for a range of pathogens known to cause meningitis and encephalitis, including parechovirus.
“Our ‘eyes’ have gotten better, which is why we see more,” said Dr. Alexander.
The purpose of the CDC warning is not to alarm parents, experts say. It is intended to ensure that pediatricians and other health care providers know that the parechovirus is circulating so that they can consider it as a possible diagnosis in certain sick children.