Human parechoviruses usually cause mild respiratory or gastrointestinal illness. Some strains can cause more severe illness, particularly in young children. Good hygiene is vital to protect against parechoviruses.
Human parechoviruses (HPeV) were first identified in 1956 and were previously known as echoviruses 22 and 23. Some HPeV strains are associated with more severe infections such as encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis.
Signs that a newborn or young infant might have a more serious form of parechovirus infection include fever (38° C or above) with any of the following:
If any of these signs are present then the child should be reviewed by a doctor urgently even if they have been checked earlier in the illness.
Parechovirus is not a notifiable condition under the Public Health Act. NSW Health works with clinicians to monitor outbreaks of severe cases.
For further information please call your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.
For health professionals, see the additional information for clinicians.