Mysterious Polio Like Illness Striking California Children

Mysterious Polio Like Illness Striking California Children

There have been a small number of children in California who have fallen ill with a mysterious polio like sickness since back in 2012 suffering from paralysis in one or more limbs and also having numerous other similar symptoms. So far public health officials and physicians have not figured out the reason. They think that a virus could be playing some sort of role but even that is far from definite as of yet.

Dr. Carol Glaser, who is a leader of one of California‚Äôs Health Department teams that are looking into the illnesses, which are occurring throughout California, explained that the ill children are suffering from extreme weakness or paralysis and this strikes very fast, usually after some sort of fairly mild respiratory ailment. Scans that have been done of the patients’ spinal cords are showing configurations of damage that is similar to what was discovered in sufferers of polio. Two of the sick children also tested positive for a virus that is usually linked with respiratory infection but also has been connected with polio similar illnesses.

There are five children who will have their respective cases presented at a neurology conference in Philadelphia soon. Each of the patients ended up having paralysis in either one or both arms and/or legs and the illness ended up reaching its entire severity within only 48 hours. Not one of the kids had recovered their limb functions after six months had passed. It was stated that doctors know the disease is definitively not polio because all the children had been vaccinated against the disease.

California health investigators have been trailing the new cases extremely close since a doctor first asked for polio testing for a child who have extreme paralytic illness in the fall of 2012. The request was very troublesome because polio has been eliminated from the United States and the patient had not traveled out of the country.

In the year to come, Glaser and her associates continued to hear about even more children who had symptoms which were not able to be chalked up to usual things. The average age of the sick kids was 12 years. Glaser did not disclose the total number of illnesses but it is believed that the number is around 20 sick kids.

Dr. Glaser stated that it was possible for children who had tested negative still could have gotten sick from viruses which could not be identified because test samples were not ideal. She was urging all physicians to be sure and report any new cases of acute paralysis so that the health officials could try to find out a potential cause. She added that they wanted to hear from all public health jurisdictions and doctors who may be seeing similar types of sicknesses. The majority of people who ended up by these types of viruses never develop any kind of symptoms. There is just one percent that ends up developing neurologic problems like paralysis. Scientists have no idea why particular individuals end up being affected so relentlessly.

There have been a small number of children in California who have fallen ill with a mysterious polio like sickness since back in 2012 suffering from paralysis in one or more limbs and also having numerous other similar symptoms.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

USA Today

Philly News

The L.A. Times