Sunday, July 15, 2007

Viral infections vs. Febrile Seizures

Influenza (flu virus) is the most commonly identified viral infection in children with fever-induced seizures. Other common respiratory viruses linked to "febrile seizures" include adenovirus, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and rotavirus, a study shows.

"Febrile seizures are common causes of pediatric admission and parental concern," write Dr. Virginia Wong and Dr. Brian Chung from Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, in the Archives of Diseases of Childhood. "Viral infection has been hypothesized to be one of the important causative factors."

To see whether some viruses cause more fever-induced seizures than others and whether the type of viral infection predicts seizure recurrence, Wong and Chung analyzed 923 youngsters admitted to the hospital for fever-induced seizures over a period of 5 years.

Overall, 17.5 percent of children had a family history of fever-induced seizure and 2.7 percent had a family history of the seizure disorder epilepsy.

The most common cause of fever in the cohort was respiratory tract infection (79.5 percent), the authors found.

Among all infectious agents identified, influenza, at 17.6 percent, was the most common, followed by adenovirus (16.8 percent), parainfluenza (6.0 percent), RSV (2.7 percent), and rotavirus (1.3 percent), the researchers report.

The type of viral infection is not important in predicting future recurrences, they note.


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