The newly identified human bocavirus was found in nearly 5 percent of pneumonia patients in rural Thailand, mostly in very young children. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report their findings today at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
"Our preliminary data suggests that human bocavirus may be associated with pneumonia in Thailand, especially among young children," says Alicia Fry, one of the researchers on the study.
Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a recently identified parvovirus that has been found in respiratory secretions of children with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). First reported in Sweden in September 2005, it is only the second member of the family Parvoviridae to be associated with human disease and the first to be linked with respiratory illness. Two additional studies in Australia and Japan have also identified HBoV in children with LRTI. However, whether the virus causes LRTI, the spectrum of clinical illness, and the epidemiology of HBoV infections still need to be defined. Fry cautions, "We still do not know if the virus actually causes respiratory tract infections and we hope to get closer to the answer with our final analysis."
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