Baby Noah beats odds and stops killer virus
FOURTEEN-week-old Noah is lucky to be alive.
The Caboolture bub is one of a small number of Queensland babies to have been diagnosed with parechovirus in the recent outbreak.
Mum Jemmah Wyld said the ordeal was terrifying for her and her husband and she wanted other parents to be aware of the seemingly innocuous symptoms.
"He was quite unsettled for about a day-and-a-half and then one night his temperature got to 38 degrees at home," Ms Wyld said.
"We took him to the hospital and his temperature got up to 40 and his heart rate was up around 150 to 210 (bpm) so they admitted him to hospital," she said.
"Over a course of a week they ran a heap of different tests to figure out what it was. They did stool samples, blood tests, nasal swabs and they then diagnosed it through a spinal tap. It was horrible."
Ms Wyld said while Noah was undergoing the tests she was warned to expect the worst.
"We were told when they were trying to figure out what was wrong that the chances of us taking him home were very slim," she said.
Noah pulled through but not without complications.
"When they figured out what it was they found it was also in his liver and brain so he has hepatitis and encephalitis and then from that they also need to watch out for developmental issues because it was in his brain," she said.
"They said it'll take about six months for his liver and kidneys to settle down and be proper again."
Ms Wyld said other parents should not hesitate in taking their baby to the hospital or doctor if they felt something was not right.
"If you fear or think something is wrong then act on it straight away," she said.
"We were told that had we waited until morning to take him to the hospital he would have died," she said.
"If we can help one family recognise this then that's one family that doesn't have to go through hell like we did because there is nothing worse than holding down your baby while they have needles and a spinal tap stuck into them."
Caboolture Hospital executive director Lance Le Ray said Noah had been its only confirmed case of the virus at the hospital and that measures had been put in place to prevent other patients from contracting the illness.
"All patients who present to Caboolture Hospital with a suspected infectious disease or virus are isolated and strict infection control precautions are put in place to ensure that virus or disease does not spread," Dr Le Ray said.
Metro North Hospital and Health Service said parents of babies aged three months and younger should watch for symptoms such as a high temperature, diarrhoea, rapid breathing, severe irritability, rashes or skin discolouration and jerking movements.
It also encouraged parents to exercise good hygiene, especially when handling soiled nappies and clothing, and sneezing, because parechovirus was spread via faeces, saliva and respiratory droplets.