Tags: respiratory | virus | paralysis | children | enterovirus D68

Doctors Mystified by Paralysis in Dozens of Children

Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 12:53 PM


Dozens of children across the United States have suddenly become paralyzed since August. According to the CDC, children in 23 states have been affected.

The paralysis has been linked to an unusual respiratory virus, called enterovirus D68, which causes wheezing and coughing, and has sickened thousands of children. Last month, Colorado officials who were concerned about a cluster of cases, asked doctors and health officials to begin recording reports of cases of unexpected weakness of arms and legs in children.

According to an article in the New York Times, so many children becoming partially or fully paralyzed in such as short time is unusual, but in actuality cases are still rare.

“At the moment, it looks like whatever the chances are of getting this syndrome are less than one in a million,” said Mark A. Pallansch, the director of the division of viral diseases at the CDC.

While some of the children have lost the use of an arm or leg, others require help breathing. And although most experts think enterovirus D68 is most likely at fault, some of the stricken children have tested negative for the virus.

For instance, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has treated five children suspected of having the virus, yet none tested positive.

Doctors speculate that the children haven't been tested until the virus has left their systems, or that current tests aren't sensitive enough to detect it. Perhaps the infectious element causing the paralysis hasn't been discovered yet, or the paralysis could even be a result of an immune response that damages the spinal cord even though the virus itself doesn't, says the New York Times.

To read the entire New York Times article, go here.



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Dozens of children across the United States have suddenly become paralyzed since August. According to the CDC, children in 23 states have been affected. The paralysis has been linked to an unusual respiratory virus, called enterovirus D68, which causes wheezing and...
respiratory, virus, paralysis, children, enterovirus D68
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2014-53-29
Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 12:53 PM
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