New Virus Related To Polio Caused Mysterious Childhood Paralysis In California Kids

CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A new strain of virus has emerged that can leave one patient virtually unharmed after infection and leave the other paralyzed for life.

Researchers with the University of California San Francisco announced Monday they have found the genetic signature of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in half of California and Colorado children diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis–a medical term describing sudden and unexplainable muscle weakness and paralysis.

The group looked at cases from 2012 to 2014, related to a national outbreak of respiratory illnesses from the virus last fall.

The paralyzing symptoms occurred in only a small number of the children who were sick. In some cases, among two siblings who both had the virus, only one developed the paralysis.

“This suggests that it’s not only the virus, but also patients’ individual biology that determines what disease they may present with,” said Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, an…

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