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Paralysis after a simple virus is happening to children in California.

Bundoo Medical Director
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Paralysis after a simple virus is happening to children in California.

Doctors in the state of California are reporting a polio-like illness in as many as twenty children over the last two years. They are calling the illness polio-like as it leaves the child with permanent paralysis of one or more limbs similar to what was seen in paralytic polio before it’s eradication in the US in 1979. Public health officials suspect the illness is due to a strain of enterovirus called enterovirus
-68. Unlike the polio virus for which there is a vaccine, the is not a vaccine for enterovirus. The enterovirus is very common and most who become I’ll have only mild symptoms. It is not yet understood why certain children seem to develop the more severe complication of paralysis. Neurologists will meet this week in an annual meeting to share their findings and bring awareness to colleagues across the country so that if there are additional cases they can be studied in hope of learning more about this complication.
Polio vaccine remands on the Centers for Diseases Control Recommended Immunization schedule for children in the US. Despite eradication in the US, polio is still present in parts of the world, leading to concerns that it could be reintroduced by travelers who are unvaccinated.

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