After cases of brain abscesses in children reportedly tripled last year in southern Nevada, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating potential reasons for the spike.
Dr. Taryn Bragg, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, reported the unexpected number of cases to the Southern Nevada Health District, which issued a public health advisory in January 2023.
“We started noticing the infections in March 2022,” Dr. Bragg told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday morning. “The vast majority of children presented with sinus infections that fairly rapidly progressed to abscesses forming in the brain.”
A majority of the kids also showed the presence of the bacteria Streptococcus intermedius, which is commonly found in the oral and respiratory cavity, she said.
“It often doesn’t result in infections, but it certainly can — and it’s the most common organism that will result in brain abscesses,” Dr. Bragg said. The doctor hasn’t seen evidence that the infections are caused by environmental factors in southern Nevada.
“We didn’t find anything local to our community that would help us mitigate and try to reduce infection rates,” she told Fox News Digital in a phone interview.
As Dr. Bragg explained on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” the children who came to the hospital with brain infections were already “incredibly sick” when they arrived. “It’s very different from your common cold,” she said.
There have not been any fatalities from these pediatric brain abscesses in southern Nevada, and the vast majority of the children have “fully recovered without neurologic deficit,” Dr. Bragg said. Many of them have required long-term antibiotics and multiple surgeries, however.