Virus Confirmed in 13-year-old's Sudden Death
Health authorities have confirmed that the virus that killed a 13-year-old boy last month is called Parvovirus B19, commonly referred to as 'slapped cheeks' virus because of the prominent rash that appears on the face.
According to director of medical services Andreas Georgiou, the child must have had other health problems that made him vulnerable to the virus, which in rare cases attacks the respiratory system and can result in serious organ problems.
Paediatrician Kyriakos Hadjilambris said in comments to Sigma TV that it is rare for children to suffer serious health problems from the virus, which is normally mild and goes away on its own.
There is no vaccine or medicine that can prevent parvovirus B19, according to the Centre of Disease Control.
Christos Yiannakos from Kalavasos village was taken to a private clinic in Limassol in June after he appeared to have a cold. He was treated and then released, but suffered respiratory problems a few days later and died in hospital.
His untimely death is a tragedy in the small village in the centre of Cyprus, and most shocking of all was how he could have died so suddenly.
After the autopsy, tissue samples were sent to the Institute of Neurology and Genetics to confirm whether the authorities' suspicions of a virus are true. Authorities are also investigating the sudden death of another child in Larnaca.
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