Myocarditis – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
On April 5, 2023, the National IHR Focal Point for the United Kingdom informed WHO of an increase in severe myocarditis in neonates associated with enterovirus infection in Wales. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, and the most common cause is viral infection, but it can also be caused by a bacterial infection. Enteroviruses can cause a number of infectious illnesses, and while these are usually mild, it has been found to affect neonates differently and more severely than older children. Although enterovirus infections are common, this reported increase has severe outcomes in neonates and the associated enterovirus infection is unusual. The symptoms include fever, runny nose, and body weakness, and there is an unusually high proportion of patients who develop myocarditis. There is no specific antiviral therapy available, and treatment currently focuses on prevention of complications. As there is no vaccine for this virus, control measures during outbreaks are focused on classical hygiene measures including frequent hand washing and disinfection of soiled clothing and surfaces.
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