Within the last eighteen months, a small group of children have been admitted to hospitals in California with polio-like symptoms, but without the disease.
Cases have occurred in a diameter of 100 miles, so the research team does not believe the virus outbreak represents a single or group. However, the possibility remains that many more could be infected and not have developed serious symptoms , such as what happens with polio.
The patients displayed severe weakness or paralysis that appeared quickly, sometimes after breathing problems. The scans done to the spinal cord showed damage, similar to what is seen in polio patients .
Some of the young patients tested positive when screened for enterovirus which is related to respiratory diseases. Polio is caused by a virus of the genus Enterovirus .
While there are only 20 cases, they have not gone unnoticed by doctors, which presented the cases at a recent meeting of the Academy of Neurology.
Some patients developed paralysis in all four limbs, and despite being treated they have shown little signs of improvement.
Polio was eradicated in the United States in 1979. Like other viruses it can also attack the nervous system and lead to paralysis . However, experts do not expect an epidemic of this virus, because infections are considered rare .
Polio is a childhood disease. The virus rapidly invades the nervous system and causes paralysis in one out of 200 cases . It can be fatal if it reaches the lungs.
Today’s global vaccination programs have made polio only endemic in three countries: Afghanistan , Nigeria and Pakistan.