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Health alert – Human Parechovirus type 3 in Victoria 8 November 2022

Status: Active

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

Key messages

  • 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

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