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Coxsackievirus B1 Linked to Neonatal Disease, CDC Reports

Virus has emerged as the most common cause of severe enterovirus infections in neonates

TUESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Coxsackievirus B1 is increasingly associated with severe enterovirus infections in neonates, according to a report published in the May 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Laurene Mascola, M.D., of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and colleagues analyzed case reports and preliminary data from the National Enterovirus Surveillance System for the year 2007.

The researchers found that coxsackievirus B1 accounted for 113 (25 percent) of 444 enterovirus infections with known serotypes and that children under age 1 accounted for 65 (68 percent) of coxsackievirus B1 reports with known age. They detected coxsackievirus B1 infections in 19 states, with California and Illinois accounting for 58 percent of the total. Other most frequently reported serotypes included echovirus 18 (14 percent), echovirus 9 (11 percent) and echovirus 6 (8 percent).

"In the absence of vaccines, non-polio enterovirus transmission can be reduced by adherence to good hygienic practices, such as thorough hand-washing (especially after diaper changes), disinfection of contaminated surfaces by chlorine-containing household cleaners, and avoidance of shared utensils and drinking containers," the authors of an accompanying editorial state. "To prevent nosocomial transmission of enteroviruses, neonatal hospital units should strictly enforce routine infection-control measures."

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