12 Colorado Children suffering Muscle Weakness and Paralysis
A group of 12 Colorado children has been suffering muscle weakness and paralysis similar to what is caused by polio. Now doctors are suspecting that these cases might be associated to a nationwide outbreak of an uncommon respiratory virus.
The authors noted that despite being provided the treatment, 10 of children who were first diagnosed late last summer are still struggling from continuing problems. It is not known whether their limb weakness and paralysis will be permanent. The viral culprit is linked to some of the cases, Enterovirus D68 or EV-D68, are associated with the same family as the polio virus.
"The pattern of symptoms the children are presenting with and the pattern of imaging we are seeing is similar to other enteroviruses, with polio being one of those", said lead author Dr. Kevin Messacar, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior associate at the Center for Health Security at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said that it is essential to keep in context that this is an uncommon problem that does not reflect what usually enterovirus D68 does in person.
Dr. Adalja also said that there are no avoiding comparisons to polio as it belongs to the same family of virus. However, according to Dr. Adalja, chances are slim for wide outbreaks of associated paralysis.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US faced a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68 last year. The CDC reported that the virus was detected in 14 patients and they all died of the illness.
According to the CDC, cold is resembled by EV-D68 in majority of the cases. Mild symptoms involve fever, sneezing, runny nose and cough. People who have severe condition might suffer from wheezing or difficulty in breathing.
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