What's new this month in BMJ JournalsBMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7509.133 (Published 14 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:133
- Harvey Marcovitch, BMJ syndication editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A virus, not a vaccine, causes infantile encephalitis
A survey of 156 UK children aged 2 months to 3 years admitted to hospital with encephalitis or fever and convulsions (almost all cases over a three year period) has shown that human herpesviruses 6 and 7 caused 17% of cases. These viruses have been associated with the benign infection exanthem subitum (roseola infantum) and only occasionally with convulsions or encephalitis. Investigators from the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, recommend searching for evidence of human herpesvirus in all children with acute neurological disease, especially when there is a temporal relation with immunisation, where a mistaken claim of an adverse reaction is easily made.