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Warning as baby dies and seven more fall critically ill with ‘usually mild virus’

A baby has died and seven others were left requiring intensive care after a “usually mild” virus appeared to trigger a serious heart condition, health officials have said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it had been notified of an “unusual” increase in myocarditis –inflammation of the heart – among newborns in south Wales infected with an enterovirus over the past year.

While enteroviruses are common and often asymptomatic, they are known to cause “occasional outbreaks in which an unusually high proportion of patients develop clinical disease, sometimes with serious and fatal consequences – in this instance myocarditis”, the UN health agency said.

While prior to the recent cluster of cases, south Wales had experienced only two similar cases in six years, the 10 months to April saw 10 cases of myocarditis in babies under the age of 28 days who tested positive for enterovirus, according to WHO.

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Source: The Independent, 19 May 2023


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