Several factors can be responsible for enterovirus infection in young infants. They include the baby’s age, the number of children exposed to, and certain viruses in the baby’s mother. Various symptoms can be associated with enterovirus infection, and this can lead to some severe problems.
Acute flaccid myelitis
Symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) develop for a few days. The condition affects the spinal cord, causing the muscles to become weakened. AFM is a severe and life-threatening illness. It is also disabling, resulting in permanent paralysis in some cases.
The disease is caused by a virus that invades the central nervous system. In addition to paralysis, children with AFM may have a decreased response to muscle contractions and problems breathing and swallowing. They may also have a loss of bone mineral density. AFM is a rare but potentially severe disease. Managing symptoms is essential.
AFM is a condition that typically requires long-term rehabilitation, but some people with AFM can recover full function. However, the recovery process is complex. That is why finding a neurologist with experience treating AFM is vital.
Paralysis of one of the arms or legs
Symptoms of enterovirus D68, also known as EV-D68, include fever, cough, and nasal congestion. It is part of a group of viruses that are related to polio and has been documented since 1962. In rare cases, the virus causes a paralysis called acute flaccid myelitis.
Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) occurs in children and is characterized by a loss of muscle tone, difficulty swallowing or speaking, facial drooping, and neck pain. It can progress quickly and cause permanent or disabling limb weakness.
In 2012, researcher Dr. Jason Campbell reported 25 childhood cases of paralysis. Several arboviruses have been linked with AFP/AFM. He was warning about the risk of enterovirus D68. The virus causes respiratory illness in children but can also lead to neurologic illness. The CDC recommends that parents watch for signs of a child’s weakness.
Hepatic necrosis and coagulopathy
EV infections are common in young infants, ranging from 26 to 50 per 100,000 live births. Among those infected, the majority are asymptomatic. However, some severe infections can lead to sepsis and Meningoencephalitis. Diagnosing and treating EV infection is crucial to reduce unnecessary hospitalization and antibiotics.
EV is an infectious agent in respiratory secretions, stool, and feces. EV is frequently isolated from throat swabs, urine, and blood. It is often asymptomatic, although it can cause a fever. Most cases of EV infection are benign, but some infants can develop severe disease. The most common symptoms include poor feeding, temperature abnormalities, and rash. In addition, enteroviral central nervous system disease can lead to neurodevelopmental sequelae.
Rash on the skin and sores inside the mouth
Getting an enterovirus infection in young infants can have several different symptoms. The infection can cause sores in the mouth, a rash on the skin, and other symptoms. While these are not usually serious, they can lead to other issues, including heart failure. You should get medical attention immediately if your child has an enterovirus infection.
Some symptoms of an enterovirus infection in infants are similar to a cold. Your child may cough, have diarrhea, and experience a runny nose. You could have flu-like symptoms or more severe illness depending on the type of enterovirus infection.
If your child’s mouth sores are painful, call your provider. They can use topical anesthetics to make them less painful. Alternatively, you can use acetaminophen to help relieve discomfort.
Disseminated herpes simplex virus infection
Symptoms of neonatal herpes simplex are similar to those of bacterial infections. These include low-grade fever, rash, and seizures. Although rare, disseminated herpes is a devastating disease that requires prompt treatment. Symptoms can also affect the brain, liver, and kidneys. The prognosis is poor. Approximately 65% of survivors develop severe neurologic sequelae.
Infection with herpes simplex is highly contagious. It is passed from mother to baby during delivery and after birth. In one of every ten people in the United States, 3,500 babies are infected. Affected newborns risk severe consequences, including brain damage and liver damage. It is vital to monitor infants with neonatal herpes and treat them with high-dose parenteral acyclovir. The American Academy of Pediatrics has additional information on herpes.
A retrospective study was conducted to determine the prevalence and incidence of HSV infection in infants presenting to 23 North American emergency departments. Encounters were matched to discharge codes, which were used to define cases. The median age of infants tested was 15 days.