A NEW virus, which put 80 Australian babies in hospital, can cause developmental delays and brain damage, leading doctors have found.
New research, to be presented at the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Annual Scientific Meeting, found more than half of the babies who had parechovirus in 2013 and 2014, went on to have developmental problems 12 months later.
ASID President Professor Cheryl Jones said parechovirus was a new virus, which doctors knew very little about.
"This study is helping improve our understanding of some of the long-term consequences of infection in children and the results are concerning," she said.
Parechovirus is spread from person to person by direct contact with nose and throat discharges (including saliva, sputum or nasal mucus), droplets (sneezing, coughing) or faeces (stools) of infected people.
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