LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Cases of rare brain infection have spiked in Southern Nevada, prompting a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation, the agency said.

A news release, which initially surfaced on January 12, highlights an increased incidence of “intracranial abscesses in pediatric patients” in southern Nevada in 2022. According to the report, 17 cases of the ailment were identified in patients under 18 in 2022.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Taryn Bragg told CNN that a considerable increase in cases seen after March 2022 had triggered the alert.

“It’s something we’re going to continue watching this year to see what happens with the trends in our county. And hopefully, by sharing this information, other health departments can look into things as well,” said Jessica Penney, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to CBS News Thursday.

Penney told CBS News that the symptoms of intracranial abscesses can range from changes in mental status to seizures. “In terms of symptoms, they can initially be very subtle for those presenting, which is sometimes why there is a little bit of a delay in diagnosis,” said Penney.

According to the CDC, parents should seek medical care immediately if children have a severe headache, changes in personality or behavior, confusion or irritability, seizures, changes in speech such as slurring, weakness on one side of the body, changes in vision like blurring or double vision, or a stiff neck or back.

Good ways to avoid spreading diseases include washing hands often, avoiding sick people, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding contact with eyes, nose, and mouth, said CDC representatives.