Polio-Like Mystery Illness Causing Paralysis In California Kids

STANFORD (CBS SF) – A mystery illness is causing paralysis in some California children, according to a study co-authored by UCSF and Stanford doctors.

At least five children have suffered weakness or paralysis in one or more limbs that resembled the damage of Polio, according to a release from the American Academy of Neurology.

“These five new cases highlight the possibility of an emerging infectious polio-like syndrome in California,” said co-author Emanuelle Waubant, MD, University of California-San Francisco.

The symptoms come on quickly, with paralysis reached within a couple of days. The sensation and movement did not return during a six month study period, and spinal scans show damage consistent with polio affliction.

“They are absolutely not a cluster because they don’t go to the same school or live in the same town. These cases have been seen over the past year and a half,” Waubant said.

Waubant said all the children had received the vaccinations against polio, though two had tested positive for enterovirus-68, a rare virus previously associated with polio-like symptoms, according to the report.


“Although poliovirus has been eradicated from most of the globe, other viruses can also injure the spine, leading to a polio-like syndrome,” said Stanford co-author Keith Van Haren, MD in the AAN press release. “We would like to stress that this syndrome appears to be very, very rare. Any time a parent sees symptoms of paralysis in a child, the child should be seen by a doctor right away,”

According to published reports, state health officials are also looking into the possibility that a virus is to blame.

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/02/24/bay-area-family-impacted-by-mystery-illness-speaks-out/ Bay Area Family Impacted By Mystery Illness Speaks Out « CBS San Francisco

    […] (KPIX 5) – Doctors continue to investigate a mysterious polio-like illness that has paralyzed at least five California children since August 2012. Meanwhile, the family of a […]

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/02/27/cdc-urged-to-investigate-mystery-polio-like-illness-affecting-california-kids/ CDC Urged To Investigate Mystery Polio-Like Illness Affecting California Kids « CBS San Francisco

    […] Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday to initiate a formal investigation into what has caused polio-like paralysis in about 20 children in California over the past 18 […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Guide To The Holidays
Shine A Light On The Holiday Season With ‘Giving Tuesday’

Listen Live