According to a recent study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, a common and harmless child virus encountered by most infants could trigger type 1 diabetes amongst susceptible children. Human parechovirus is ‘silent’ in that it has few symptoms and may easily go unnoticed.
To reach their conclusions, the Norwegian team investigated whether environmental risk factors did in fact affect type 1 diabetes . Parents of 102 children sent in questionnaires and faecal samples. The team found significant links between the virus and diabetes cases .
The researchers concluded that those infants infected by human parechovirus should be considered as special cases when looking for triggers of type 1 diabetes . The exact infection – disease mechanism remains unclear, with too few infections or infection at certain time points perhaps particularly important in determining diabetes risk .

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