Polio like syndrome affecting California children
February 25, 2014
Five children in California have developed paralysis in one or more of their limbs after suffering from a “polio-like syndrome.” [CNN]
Between August 2012 and July 2013, five children who had been vaccinated against the poliovirus developed paralysis after suffering from a respiratory illness. Samples from two of the children tested positive for enterovirus 68, a rare virus that has been linked to severe respiratory illness in the past. The other three children were not tested for the virus.
The poliovirus has been eradicated in the United States for more than 30 years. However, polio is part of the Picornaviridae family which also includes enteroviruses.
Most people who become infected with an enterovirus do not get sick or experience only mild symptom. Nevertheless, some types of enterovirus are more serious.
The California Department of Public Health has not identified any common causes that suggest that the cases are linked, said Dr. Gil Chavez, the deputy director of the Center for Infectious Disease and state epidemiologist, to CNN.