‘Polio-like’ illness strikes 25 in California

Polio virus under electron microscope.
Polio virus under electron microscope.

From Yahoo News

Doctors in California say as many as 25 children are suffering from a mysterious, polio-like virus that is leaving them with paralyzed limbs, USA Today reports.

The cause of most of these cases is not known, health officials say. The average age of the children is 12.

“What we’re seeing now is bad,” Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, told the newspaper. “The best-case scenario is complete loss of one limb, the worst is all four limbs, with respiratory insufficiency, as well. It’s like the old polio.”

Symptoms include loss of the ability to move limbs, which leads to atrophy and causes muscles to shrivel. “They just dangle, like empty balloons,” Van Haren said. …

Polio, an infectious disease that invades the nervous system and mainly affects young children, became one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th Century in the United States.

There is no known cure for polio.

Go here for the full story.

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