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July 27, 2022 - Human Parechovirus (PeV)

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on July 12, 2022, that parechovirus (PeV) is currently circulating in the United States. Parechoviruses are a group of viruses known to cause a spectrum of disease in humans. Since May 2022, the CDC has received reports from healthcare providers in multiple states of PeV infections occurring in neonates and young infants. Since there is no systematic surveillance for PeV in the United States, it is unknown how the number of reported cases compares to previous years. Since PeV testing has become more widely available in recent years, it is possible that the increased number of reported cases reflects increased testing.

Since May 2021, there have been a total of 6 confirmed cases of PeV in District of Columbia (DC) residents. Reported cases have been mild to moderate in severity with ages ranging from a few days to several months old. Presenting symptoms included a fever above 100.4 ºF, tachycardia, fussiness or irritability, lethargy, poor feeding, and/or mild diarrhea. The average hospital stay was 2-3 days with supportive care prior to discharge home. Clinicians are encouraged to include PeV in the differential diagnoses of neonates and infants presenting with fever, sepsis-like syndrome, or neurologic illness (seizures, meningitis) without another known cause and to test for PeV in children with signs and symptoms compatible with PeV infection (see below). Commercial laboratory assays and multiplex platforms for meningitis and encephalitis are available to test cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for PeV. To date, all PeV positive specimens tested and typed at the CDC were type PeV-A3.