A cluster of 23 infants in Tennessee were diagnosed with a potentially severe childhood virus within a six-week span this spring — an unusually short amount of time for such a large number of cases, doctors reported Thursday.
The infants, ages 5 days to 3 months old, were infected with a type of parechovirus, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This type of virus is not uncommon in children, but in babies younger than 6 months, it can be particularly dangerous, causing fevers, seizures and brain inflammation.
All of the infants developed a complication called parechovirus meningoencephalitis — an inflammation of the brain and brain lining — and were treated at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Nashville. All but one were eventually admitted to the hospital.
The CDC’s report comes several weeks after the agency issued a nationwide health alert about