Health authorities should investigating After doctors in Nevada reported a spike in a type of rare brain infection among children.
“In my 20 years of experience, I have never seen anything like this,” said Dr. Taryn Bragg, a professor at the University of Utah who handled the case. told CNN.
A rare infection called an intracranial abscess occurs when bacteria such as Streptococcus intermedius reach the brain. Bacteria are normally found in the nose and throat, but can cause problems when they reach the brain.
Investigators found that most of the infected Clark County children had colds.
They averaged about two weeks in the hospital, and more than 80% required brain surgery to treat the infection. health officials saidwhich is not uncommon in pus-filled abscesses.
The median age of children was 12 years, and 3 out of 4 patients were boys. No one died from the infection.
After giving a presentation on Nevada cases at this week’s Epidemic Intelligence Services conference, doctors in other parts of the country said brain abscesses in children are on the rise as well. CNN reported.
Sunil Sood, an expert in pediatric infectious diseases in New York, told the outlet that he estimates that we are seeing at least twice as many cases as usual, although he does not have an official tally.
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Why are more children getting brain abscesses?
There are still many unknowns as to why doctors are seeing an increase in brain infections in parts of the country.
All Clark County cases occurred in children with no previous neurosurgery or head trauma. Discovered by CDC investigators.
Health officials continue to investigate, and investigators this week shared detailed information detailing how infections spiked in 2022.
“Further research is needed to identify the specific risk factors and causes of this rare condition, and surveillance should continue to understand future trends.” An investigator for the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service said: week.
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Most of the children had cold symptoms
About two-thirds of the parents interviewed by investigators said their child had cold symptoms but did not have COVID-19 before the brain infection.
Most often, children have earaches and sinus infections, accompanied by headaches and fever. Bragg told CNN.
A small percentage of sinus and inner ear infections in children may be followed by a brain abscess. Sued told CNNHe said the number of brain abscesses may be on the rise because more children are getting this type of infection in the past few months.
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No spikes in past years
a CDC investigation A paper published last fall found that there was no nationwide increase in brain infections until May 2022.
But Bragg told CNN that the CDC’s data through May may not give the full picture.
Doctors continue to investigate links between these conditions and brain abscesses, and the CDC says it continues to monitor the situation closely.
A vigilant parent can be on the lookout for sinus infections, and if a child wakes up red and swollen, Sued told CNNHeadaches and pain above the brow can also be reasons to see a doctor, he said.