Childhood infections on the rise: mild and striking virus

Monday, July 1, 2024, 02:00

Since the pandemic, society has become extremely sensitive to any issue related to viruses, even the most harmless and common ones. Thus, a few weeks ago, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned of an increase in the number of infections in fourteen countries, including Spain, due to ‘slap in the face of the virus‘, as the well-known parvovirus (B19), affects mainly boys and girls of school age and the presence of which is manifested by a rash, especially on the cheeks.

«The virus that got a slap in the face “It is the fifth most common infection among children and it is so minor that no attempt has been made to find a vaccine,” says Elena Sánchez, president of the Association of Primary Care Pediatricians (APap) of the Canary Islands, who elaborates. This virus is highly contagious and has a very mild course in healthy children.

Although he megaloerythema It is a common disease, with incidences typically returning at intervals of three to five years, so the increase in cases seen in much of Europe is within normal limits, according to a Canary Island pediatrician who confirmed the increase in cases in recent months.

“After the pandemic, we had almost no cases of the disease and Now there is very intensive regrowth“, admits Sanchez.

In any case, this is not relevant. “This disease is so benign that it is often undiagnosed.“, – the pediatrician points out the symptoms, which are often confused with sunburn. Its symptoms, according to him, are similar to a cold, with a slight fever and joint pain.

Interestingly, megaloerythema is only contagious during the incubation period and initial symptoms, which usually last from one to three weeks. In fact, once the skin lesions appear, they are no longer contagious.

Pathology, mild in childhood, can lead to complications in pregnant womenpeople with weakened immune systems and those who suffer from chronic hematological problems, warns Sanchez.

The infection is so mild that the pediatrician does not give any advice to parents of sick minors. “They don’t need to do anything. When the rash appears and they realize they have parvovirus, it turns out that the child is no longer contagious. At that point, he no longer has a subfebrile temperature. At worst, it may tingle a little,” the doctor says of the virus’s virtually nonexistent effects.

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