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Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the burden, clinical and laboratory features and outcomes of human parechoviruses (HPeVs) infection among children in Oman. Methods: This retrospective study included children (aged <18 years) with molecularly proven HPeV infection who were managed at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman, between January 2017 and December 2019. Data were obtained from the patients’ medical records and analysed to describe their demographics, clinical and laboratory features, management and outcomes. Results: HPeV was detected in 61 patients, 44 (72%) of whom were males. The median age of these patients was nine months (interquartile range [IQR]: 6–15 months). HPeV was detected throughout the year without any significant peaks. Majority of the patients (n = 51, 84%) had co-infection with other viruses. Forty-eight (79%) children with HPeV infection required hospitalisation, and their median length of hospital stay was five days (IQR: 3–8 days). Ex-prematurity (n = 10, 16%) was the commonest comorbidity among this group. Fever (n = 41, 67%) and cough (n = 41, 67%) were the commonest presenting symptoms among the children. Two-thirds of the HPeV-infected children in this cohort were managed for lower respiratory tract infection; none was managed for meningitis. Gastroenteritis was not common in this cohort; only eight children had diarrhoea. All children made a full recovery. Conclusion: HPeVs infection does not show a clear seasonality in Oman. Most of the children were aged <2 years and had a viral co-infection. The outcomes of HPeV infection were favourable, with no mortalities, but a thorough follow-up for neurological outcomes was lacking.
Keywords: Children; Parechovirus; Infection; Patient Outcome Assessment; Oman.
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