Outbreak of little known virus threatens children

Major outbreaks of the parechovirus that can cause severe sepsis-like illness and meningitis in young children are now being reported in Victoria and NSW, as well as Queensland.

A large increase in the number of cases of parechovirus have been reported in Victoria since August 2015, prompting Health Victoria to issue an alert for the infection that mostly affects infants and young children.

In NSW, more than 150 cases of the virus were detected between the 28th September and 13th December, with a notable rise in ED admissions for fever or unspecified infection in children under the age of