Norway health officials are reporting (computer translated) a marked increase in cases of central nervous system infections caused by enterovirus in June.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

Of the tests that are typed, echovirus 30 is most commonly detected, a relatively common type of enterovirus.

There was a outbreak last year; however, officials say the outbreak this year is more intense.

Most of the cases have been reported from Eastern Norway, but there are also several cases in the Bergens area and elsewhere in the country. So far, there are especially adults between the ages of 20 and 40 who are affected, but also young children. Echovirus 30 typically occurs in epidemics with approximately 5 year intervals. The last seasons with high incidence of this virus in Norway were in 2000, 2006/7 and 2012, and last year.

–  Sometimes an epidemic with echovirus 30 can go over 2 seasons. This outbreak that we see now started in early summer last year, so as to flare up again this year with stronger strength, and the same is reported from Denmark and Sweden, says microbiologist and chief physician Susanne Gjeruldsen Dudman at the National Institute of Public Health.

Enterovirus infects both respiratory tract and feces to those who are infected and can cause different types of infections.

“Most people have no symptoms or only mild flu-like illness, but in some people it can cause headaches, stiffness and drowsiness that may indicate a form of meningitis,” says General Are S. Berg at the Institute of Public Health.

Even central nervous system infections require no specific treatment and will go over by itself, but you may be bothered with headaches and fatigue for a period afterwards. Infections in the central nervous system require a spinal cord test to make the correct diagnosis.

The most important preventative measure is good hand hygiene, especially after contact with others who may be ill.