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Stella

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Stella, 10 months, parechovirus

In a matter of minutes, 12-day-old Stella’s temperature spiked to a dangerously high level.

After doctors detected her racing little heart rate, Stella was sent to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital for further testing. Within a couple of hours, Stella received a full septic work out, including blood and urine tests, a lumber puncture and was put on IV antibiotics as a precaution.

Worryingly, all test results came back negative – doctors couldn’t work out what was causing Stella’s significant decline in health. That’s when she was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit.

For three long days, Stella showed no sign of improvement and had a nasal gastric tube inserted to assist with feeding, and low flow oxygen to assist her breathing. It was around this time that doctors noticed a faint rash, and a test for parochovirus was immediately ordered.

The test came back the next day – Stella had parechovirus, which can lead to serious complications such as hepatitis or encephalitis, and can be fatal.

Parechovirus is spread from person to person by direct contact, and there is no treatment or vaccine