Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Children Paralyzed From Polio-Like Illness

Here's a disturbing story out of California: a report just published in the February 23rd issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Neurology described a new infection that is leading to paralysis and polio-like symptoms in children.

Up to 20 people, mostly children, were described to have come down with a respiratory virus that looks a lot like polio.  Five kids experienced that rapid onset of paralysis to at least one limb.  Others suffered impaired motor function, with some kids experiencing paralysis in all four limbs. The scary part is that 6 months to 2 years out, the limb function in these limbs has not returned, which leaves doctors fearing the damage might be permanent.

The suspected culprit in Enterovirus_68 -- until recently an otherwise benign cold virus.  Scientists have not yet mapped the genome of the virus to try and determine where the genetic mutation took palace.Since the study's publication, health experts say that the number infected now stands at 25 and counting, though they do not expect an epidemic. The cases occurred among vaccinated children and do not seem to be clustered around any one area.  This suggests that there might be some sort of genetic vulnerability in affected children that is causing this mutated virus to affect their nervous system.

We will keep you posted if there are new developments on this unusual virus.  Visit us at and learn about child medical issues.

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