PARENTS are being urged to heed good hygiene habits, with several NSW babies being diagnosed with parechovirus infections.
NSW Health says parechovirus usually causes mild respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms, but occasionally can lead to more severe symptoms.
While infected babies can get unwell quickly, most typically recover in a few days.
NSW Health director of communicable diseases Dr Vicky Sheppeard says in addition to a high fever there are a range of other signs including a red rash, irritability, diarrhoea, hepatitis or encephalitis.
“Most cases make a complete recovery after several days in hospital,” she said.
Sydney and Newcastle hospitals have seen about 20 admissions of babies aged less than 16 weeks old since October.
Parechovirus is usually spread from person to person through contact with respiratory droplets, saliva or faeces from an infected person.
It can be hard to prevent, but washing hands with soap and water after going to the toilet, before eating, after wiping noses, and after changing nappies should help reduce the risk.