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Parechovirus warning from ASID

The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) has found that more than 100 Australian infants had developed brain damage and developmental delays 1 year after they were hospitalised with the virus in 2013 and 2014, according to a report in The Straits Times. The symptoms include rashes, irritability, muscle twitches and seizures, fever and diarrhoea, said ASID. In severe cases, it can cause hepatitis or encephalitis. Parechovirus is spread like the common cold, by direct contact with nose and throat discharges from sneezing, coughing, saliva, nasal mucus or faeces. There is no vaccine or treatment at present. Starting in December 2013, it spread quickly through parts of Queensland, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and over 100 newborn babies were hospitalised. They refused to eat, were lethargic and had high temperatures. The new study followed up on 46 out of 79 of the babies. Half of them showed developmental problems and nearly 20% had significant neurological problems by the time they were 1-year-old. In March, two infants from Toowoomba almost died from the virus. Left fighting for life in intensive care, one of them had to be given painful spinal taps and have her chest cut open.

Soap operas play role in mental health understanding

According to a report in The Guardian, soap operas involving…