Enteroviruses are a family of viruses that can infect the newborn . In adults and older children they cause mild infections.
In newborns, the enteroviruses that most frequently cause infection are coxsackie B and echovirus . They are transmitted to the fetus through the placenta when the mother is infected.
Symptoms are more severe when the infection is in the days around delivery.
In the newborn, symptoms appear during the first week of life. Sometimes they can only cause fever and, in others, the infection can be more serious: meningitis, heart involvement (myocarditis) and generalized infection .
A blood and cerebrospinal fluid test is performed to investigate the presence of some type of enterovirus.
Prevention and treatment
There is no specific treatment for enteroviruses.
If an acute enterovirus infection is suspected in the mother, it may be convenient to delay delivery, so that the antibodies (defenses) that the mother makes to fight the infection pass to the baby and help him to overcome the infection without problems.