Health officials are sounding the alarm over a spike in rare and serious brain abscesses in children in and around Las Vegas, Nevada.
Experts at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the spate of cases, while doctors across America say they are also seeing a rise in cases.
The number of brain abscesses in minors tripled in Nevada last year, shooting up from an average of four or five a year to 18.
Dr Taryn Bragg, a pediatric neurosurgeon and associate professor at the University of Utah who treats the cases, told CNN she had ‘never seen anything like it’ in her 20 years’ experience.
Physicians are not sure what has caused the rise, but said it could be due to weakened immunity to infections due to Covid measures such as lockdowns.
Dr Bragg was able to spot the pattern and notify local public health officials because she is the only pediatric neurosurgeon for Nevada.
After March 2022, she said there was a ‘huge increase’ in brain abscesses, which is ‘unusual’, particularly as ‘the similarities in terms of the presentation of cases was striking’.