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Back To Vidyya New Virus Hits New Zealand

Potentially Dangerous Virus Has Infected At Least 50 People In The Country

The New Zealand Ministry of Health has issued a warning to local doctors to be on the lookout for a new and potentially dangerous virus, which has infected at least 50 people in the country.

A senior public health advisor, Doug Lush, said in a press release issued by the ministry here Monday that symptoms of Echo 33 can include diarrhea, headache, fever and a rash, but the virus can also cause a type of meningitis, which is different from the potentially fatal meningococcal meningitis.

The illness differs from meningococcal meningitis in that a virus, and not bacteria causes it, he said.

Echo 33 is not spread through sneezing and coughing, but through poor hygiene, Lush said, adding handwashing and good personal hygiene is the best way to stop the virus from spreading.

While most victims do not need treatment, some people, particularly small children, may have to be hospitalized if they contract Echo 33, according to the public health advisor.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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