Rare Virus Sickens 14 Babies, Health Authorities Investigating HPeV3 Virus Cases In Kansas City Area

August 13, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Rare Virus Sickens 14 Babies

Rare virus sickens 14 babies in 2 states over the summer and experts are trying to understand. The rare virus known as HPeV3 has sickened a total of 14 babies, 9 from Kansas and the other 5 from Missouri. None of the 14 babies died, but needed supportive care for the human parainfluenza virus that causes cough, fever and nasal congestion. There is no vaccination against the virus, but breast milk can protect babies from it. The outbreak of the rare virus has prompted the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to step in to better monitor the situation in both states.

A rare virus sickens 14 babies leaving health officials in Kansas scrambling for answers.

Since June of 2014, health official at the Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Kansas (where the first case was reported) and Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri have treated 14 infants who were infected with HPeV3.

9 of the newborns are from Kansas and the others from Missouri.

All of the babies were born healthy, went home and were later hospitalized with the paramyxovirus.

HPeV3, which is a human parainfluenza virus mainly strikes very young very children under the age of 3 months during summer and spring.

Health officials say none of 14 babies sickened by the rare and fatal virus died but needed intensive care to heal.

Patients with HPeV3 often have the common cold and fever for the first few hours, which will later develop into respiratory tract infections, laryngotracheobronchitis (better know as croup, that causes breathing difficulty accompanied by barking cough), bronchiolitis (swelling and a gradual accumulation of mucus in the smallest air passages in both lungs) and pneumonia.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating to find out if the babies got infected while at the hospitals or at home.

According to Aimee Rosenow who represents the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, parents and caretakers can take steps like, washing their hands and if possible feeding the babies breast milk to avoid the the rare virus.

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