The WHO insists on the low risk to public health of this increase in sepsis associated with the virus
On May 5, 2023, France reported an increase in cases of sepsis neonatal severe associated with enterovirus (Echovirus-11). A total of nine cases of neonatal sepsis with liver failure and multi-organ failure between July 2022 and April 2023 in four hospitals in three regions of France. Seven of these cases have died and two were still hospitalized in the neonatal unit at the beginning of May.
Now the team from the European Union and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) are working with all Member States to try to better understand whether, as surveillance has decreased, other cases are being missed.
The world health organization (WHO) has stressed the low risk to public health of the unusual increase in sepsis associated with this enterovirus in babies and ensures that “the main message is that we are not worried.”
“We reiterate that the risk of contagion Due to this recombination, it is still limited, but we ask that vigilance be increased,” warned the director of the WHO alert and response coordination department, Abdi Rahman Mahamud, at a press conference this Friday.
How the virus is transmitted
The executive director of the WHO Emergency Program, Michael Ryan, has clarified that these viruses are often transmitted by va fecal-oral. However, for neonates, there are other ways you can become infected, whether through the birth canal, exposure to blood, exposure to caregivers, and the general hospital environment.
“Newborns are especially vulnerable, especially premature babies. So we have a vulnerable group exposed to these viruses and the outcomes for those children can be more serious. But for the vast majority, even of those children, the results are very positive, although in a small proportion it can cause more serious problems”, he explained.
These viruses target different organs, some causing encephalitis, others myocarditis or infection of the heart, and others can have effects on multiple organs.
At this point, he has insisted that “there is no cause to increase fear among people”, since scientists are doing their job, they are detecting these events, they are sequencing them and they are studying the risk.
“It is a true tragedy for any family to lose a child at this time, after what could have been a very healthy pregnancy. We should think of those families and the losses they are suffering,” he opined, adding that they deserve ” a better understanding of these viruses, how they spread, and how they cause what they do.”
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