Dozens of children in Cataluña enterovirus outbreak

Doctors are uncertain what is causing a more virulent form of the virus

Officials at a press conference at Barcelona's Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron providing information about the enterovirus outbreak (Photo: EFE)

By Dave Jamieson

AROUND 50 children in Cataluña have been affected by an outbreak of enterovirus, according to the regional health authority. More than 20 of them have been admitted to hospital suffering from an inflammation of the brain stem and cerebellum.

Doctors admit that the situation is leaving them baffled. Carles Rodrigo, the chief paediatrician at Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron Hospital, said that the virus is behaving in unexpected ways. There is presently no known vaccine or prescription drug which is able to fight the microorganism.

First analyses from laboratory tests suggest that this enterovirus is much more aggressive than usual. While the annual springtime outbreak of the virus produces cold or flu-like symptoms, the present strain appears to affect the central nervous system.

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