Puzzling Polio-Like Illness Hits Kids in California
Doctors mystified by at least 25 cases
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2014 3:17 AM CST
Updated Mar 1, 2014 12:25 PM CST
Tests have confirmed that the children with polio-like symptoms do not have polio.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Public health officials are mystified by an outbreak of a polio-like illness that has left at least 25 children in California with paralyzed limbs. The affected children are hit quickly with severe weakness or paralysis, sometimes after a respiratory illness, the Los Angeles Times reports. The first case surfaced in 2012 and none of the sick children, whose median age is 12, have recovered limb function. Doctors say they're certain it's not polio—which all the children had been vaccinated against—but they suspect it could be a new strain of an enterovirus from the same family as polio.

"What's we're seeing now is bad," a pediatric neurologist tells USA Today. "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." The condition is "really very rare," he says. "But we are asking any families who notice a sudden onset of weakness to see their doctors immediately." No cases have been reported outside California, but public health officials say some may surface when doctors nationwide become aware of the condition and start looking for it.

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Showing 3 of 91 comments
plain_speaking
Mar 6, 2014 12:05 PM CST
The "blame the immigrant" argument is silly....vacationing abroad and coming home can just as easily introduce new organisms into the country....importing anything has the potential to introduce new things....for all that want to construct a bubble to live in...think of buying some land in Texas...
Drogan
Mar 4, 2014 6:02 PM CST
Maybe it's affluenza?
atbov2
Mar 1, 2014 1:29 PM CST
Wow. I guess I shouldn't be surprised about all the comments below going straight to the "it's the immigrant's fault" rant. You'd LOVE that wouldn't you? A horrible virus that was brought by immigrants, so you can stand on your soap-box and scream that we need to close our borders. You should just be honest with yourselves and admit that you could give a shit about the virus, your glad it's here so you can blame it on immigrants. You people never cease to amaze me. You should be ashamed of yourselves.