A rare illness with Polio-like symptoms has left 25 children in California paralyzed with no hope of recovery. Where did this illness come from and how are doctors working to prevent it? Find out here.
Neurologists in California are concerned about a new illness similar to Polio that is leaving children with irreversible paralyzed limbs. Reports tell that at least twenty-five cases have been found since 2012, and even though doctors say it is still a rare occurrence, they are telling parents what signs they should be looking for.
25 California Children — Paralyzed From Polio-Like Illness
Doctors are working hard to determine the origin and cause of a new illness that has struck 25 kids in California since as early as 2012. The illness is being heavily compared to polio due to the paralyzation symptoms that have occurred in the affect children’s limbs along with respiratory issues. The first case in 2012 was originally misdiagnosed as asthma before the girl’s parent realized she was losing muscle strength in her left arm.
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“The best-case scenario is complete loss of one limb, the worst is all four limbs, with respiratory insufficiency, as well. It’s like the old polio,” Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, explained in an interview with USA Today.
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Neurologists Hope To Spread Awareness
Dr. Van Haren believes the illness is an enterovirus, which is a family of milder viruses that include polio. Unfortunately, as of right now the only virus in that enterovirus that has a vaccine is polio. Dr. Van Haren is among a group of doctors that will present five cases of the mystery illness to the American Academy of Neurology at their annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pa. in April 2014.
“My goal is to get the word out to other neurologists, to make them aware of this,” Dr. Van Haren explained.
Let us know your thoughts, HollyMoms. Are you concerned about this new polio-like illness spreading?
— Lauren Cox