Tennessee hospital reports unusual cluster of parechovirus cases 

Twenty-three infants in Tennessee were diagnosed with parechovirus over a six-week period this spring, NBC News reported July 28.

Among the cases, from April 12 to May 24, 21 infants fully recovered, but one was left with lasting seizures and another appears to have hearing loss, according to the report, which cited CDC data. 

All the children were treated at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital in Nashville, but none were admitted, according to the report

"What was surprising to us, and why we put this report together, is that we saw a higher than usual number of babies with this infection than we’ve seen in prior years, Ritu Banerjee, MD, PhD, an author of the new report and a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, told NBC.

Only seven cases of parechovirus were reported from 2019 to 2021. Nineteen were diagnosed in 2018, the first year testing was available.

Dr. Banerjee said she suspects more kids going back to day care, camp and school since physical distancing has been relaxed may play a role in the surge of cases.

The CDC issued a health advisory July 12 telling clinicians to keep an eye out for parechovirus, or PeV, in newborns and young infants. The alert said that a strain of the virus associated with severe illness, called PeV-A3, was circulating in "multiple states."

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