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Unknown virus attacks 14 infants in Kansas City


14 infants have come down with a rare virus disease that health authorities are still trying to isolate and classify. This viral infection appears to attack young babies that are lesser than one year old and causes meningitis with other inflammatory symptoms that include fever, irritability, diarrhea, rash, and transient paralysis. Although none of the infected infants has died yet, health authorities say they have all been hospitalized for further treatment and care.

According to Aimee Rosenow, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, her agency is forging an alliance with the Missouri Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the type of viral infections and how to contain it. Two hospitals, the Shawnee Mission Medical Center and the Children’s Mercy Hospital had earlier reported cases of this infection.


Medical experts believe the infection to be caused by HPeV3, a type of human parechoviruses, and that the infection appears to be a summer-time disease. Although medical authorities are not taking this lying down, it is believed that the government can contain the disease as indicated from the fact that its fatality rate is pretty low. It does not yet appear to be a mortal infection, but government agencies continue to investigate it and develop responsive treatments.



Nine of the 14 affected infants are said to be from the Kansas area and the other ones from other parts of Missouri. Medical scientists had in 1999 first discovered a case of this virus infection in a one year child in Japan, and they continue to research if other reported cases have been related to this particular infection.

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