The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Advisory to inform physicians, other healthcare professionals, and public health departments that parechovirus (PeV) is currently circulating in the United States.
Since May 2022, the CDC has received reports from physicians and other healthcare professionals in multiple states of PeV infections in neonates and young infants. Parechoviruses are a group of viruses known to cause a spectrum of disease in humans. Physicians and other healthcare professionals are encouraged to include PeV in the differential diagnoses of 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. Commercial laboratory assays, multiplex platforms for meningitis and encephalitis, and testing through state public health laboratories are available to test cerebrospinal fluid for PeV to confirm a diagnosis. CDC laboratory support is also available for testing and typing patient specimens.
Because there is presently no systematic surveillance for PeVs in the U.S., it is not clear how the number of PeV cases reported in 2022 compares to previous seasons. PeV laboratory testing has become more widely available in recent years, and it is possible that increased testing has led to a higher number of PeV diagnoses compared with previous years.