WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In an observational cohort study recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, details are presented for an outbreak of enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) neurological disease in children who presented to a Colorado hospital for treatment.

Kevin Messacar, M.D., from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational cohort study involving 74 children who presented to Children’s Hospital Colorado from March 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2018, with neurological diseases and enterovirus detected from any biological specimen. The clinical characteristics were compared for children with neurological disease associated with EV-A71 and other enteroviruses.

The researchers found that EV-A71 was identified in 58 percent of the children. Of the 43 children with EV-A71 neurological disease, 40, 31, and 10 had findings suggestive of meningitis, showed evidence of encephalitis, and met the case definition of acute flaccid myelitis. Neurological findings of myoclonus, ataxia, weakness, and autonomic instability best differentiated children with EV-A71 from those with other enteroviruses. Of the 42 children with EV-A71 neurological disease who could be followed up, 93 percent showed complete recovery by one to two months.

“Enhanced clinical and laboratory surveillance for enterovirus neurological disease, including nonsterile site testing, is necessary to determine whether the 2018 Colorado EV-A71 outbreak is a sporadic, isolated incident or foreboding of impending cycles of neurological disease associated with EV-A71 in the USA,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed holding patents for detecting and identifying enteroviruses.

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