Researchers at the University of Insubria in Varese, Italy, have found a significant link between type 1 diabetes and a common virus that usually only causes a mild infection, according to a Reuters report.
The researchers, headed by Antonio Toniolo, studied a small group of 112 children, ages 6-12 with type 1 diabetes. They found that more than 80 percent had evidence of enterovirus infection in their blood.
Enteroviruses are viruses that can thrive in the gastrointestinal tract. They are very common and most people who are infected with an enterovirus have no obvious illness. Others have flu-like symptoms, aching muscles or a rash, and some severe viruses attack the nervous system.
Toniolo stressed that the results did not show a causal link between enteroviruses and diabetes, but said the discovery was in tune with previous studies which have suggested enterovirus infections may be associated with diabetes.