Date issued: 8 November 2022
Issued by: Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Disease)
Issued to: Health professionals and the Victorian community
- An increase in cases of human parechovirus (HPeV) type 3 has been detected in Victoria in infants.
- HPeV is usually spread from person-to-person through contact with respiratory droplets, saliva, or faeces from an infected person.
- HPeV occurs commonly in the general population, and usually causes a mild respiratory and gastrointestinal illness in young children.
- Some strains, including type 3, can cause a severe sepsis-like and neurological illness in neonates and young infants.
- Consider HPeV in patients with compatible clinical presentation, particularly in neonates and young infants presenting with meningoencephalitis or a sepsis-like syndrome.
- Parechovirus PCR can be accessed through the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) if it is not available from your local pathology provider.
- No specific therapy is available; treatment is aimed at symptom relief.
- Good hygiene practices are vital to protect against gastrointestinal illnesses, including HPeV infection.
- No vaccine is available to prevent HPeV infection.
- Read the full advisory: Human parechovirus type 3 in Victoria