A HEARTBROKEN mum has issued a chilling warning after her newborn son died from a virus medics failed to detect.
Denise Brajkovic lost little Julian just two days after being discharged from hospital when he developed an enterovirus called Echovirus 9 while in the womb.
The silent killer is spread through the faecal-oral route and Denise believed she caught it at a shopping centre a week from giving birth.
Denise was struck down with flu-like symptoms such as body aches and severe chills but had no idea she had passed it on to her baby.
Concerned, the mum-to-be went to a hospital for a health check but was told everything was fine.
Denise, from Australia, added: “The baby was fine. I was discharged and told to rest and take Panadol to control any fever.”
‘I DIDN’T HAVE A GOOD FEELING’
She gave birth to Julian on July 9 with no complications but 48 hours later, the baby’s condition rapidly deteriorated.
Denise said: “Symptoms were masked under typical newborn behaviours.
“He was a bit grizzly and didn’t really want to feed as much. I asked the nurses and doctors if this was ok, and they assured me it was normal.
“Deep down inside I didn’t have a good feeling. He was a bit jaundiced they said, but his jaundice count was low.”
At four days old, the family were discharged from hospital but his symptoms worsened and the tot became lethargic and wouldn’t feed.
He was rushed to A&E where a medic finally confirmed he was suffering from Echovirus 9 after he began displaying symptoms of severe internal bleeding and liver failure.
What is Echovirus 9?
ENTEROVIRUS’ are a type of infection that are responsible for a number of diseases and reside in the intestine.
Symptoms range from rashes, colds and blurred vision to presentation of diseases such as Hand, foot and mouth disease, Polio-like syndrome, and Encephalitis.
The illness is common and responsible for about a billion infections each year worldwide.
Echovirus is a type of enterovirus and is usually easily fought off by adults. But as babies do not have a developed immune system, it is deadly to newborns and there is no cure available.
Babies can inherit immunity from their mother but are if they are in the womb for long enough to do so.
Doctors worked tirelessly for five hours to save Julian but eventually his parents were forced to make the agonising decision to switch his life support off.
Denise said: “The Doctor came in to advise us that they had tried everything and that the brain scan had shown he had severe bleeding and that he was brain dead.
“Mat and I then had to make the most unimaginable decision to have our son taken off life support. Julian died in our arms a little while later.”
‘WASH YOUR HANDS’
Devastated Denise is now trying to raised awareness of the disease, which is deadly in newborns as they have no immunity it is passed on by their mothers.
As the infection came at such a late stage of pregnancy, baby Julian was infected but was not inside his mother’s womb for long enough to receive immunity.
Denise said if she had known about the disease, she could have chosen to give birth later to give Julian a chance to develop some resistance.
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She added: “Pregnant woman get told to not eat shellfish, soft cheese, drink alcohol, getting the whooping cough vaccine.
“Not at any point do they tell you ‘hey, if you present with these type of flu like symptoms you could be infected with Enterovirus and it kills your baby’. They don’t test for it.
“I contracted [the virus] from a shopping centre … Wash your hands more often.”
Appealing directly to anyone affected by the virus, she continued: “We need you. Baby Julian Brajkovic and all the other babies that died from this evil virus need you.”