Enteroviruses : Rising Incidence
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against the rising incidence of enterovirus infections in a few countries across Europe.
- Enterovirruse are a group of viruses that can cause various infectious illnesses and are responsible for annual epidemics.
- There are many kinds of enteroviruses, including coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, polioviruses, and the hepatitis A virus.
- All enteroviruses are antigenically heterogeneous and have wide geographic distribution.
- They can infect anyone, but are more likely to cause illnesses in people with weak immune systems, as well as infants, children, and teens who don’t have immunity against a virus yet because it’s their first exposure to it.
- Illness is usually mild but has been found to affect neonates differently and sometimes more severely than older children and adults.
- There are multiple transmission routes, particularly in the neonatal period, including intrapartum by exposure to maternal blood, secretions, and/or stool, or postnatally from close contacts with infected caregivers.
- Most people with an enterovirus infection don’t get sick.
- For those who do, symptoms depend on the type of enterovirus and which part of the body it affects.
- Most often a child will simply have a fever or mild cold symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or muscle aches.