Doctors in California are puzzled by several cases of an illness that looks and acts like polio, but isn’t.
Doctors in California are puzzled by approximately 20 cases of an illness that looks and acts like polio, but isn’t.
The median age of those affected is 12-years-old, and according to a Stanford University pediatric neurologist, of the 5 cases he studied the victims had received the polio vaccine.
Nonetheless, they developed symptoms and conditions remarkably similar to those often found in the illness, including limb paralysis and respiratory difficulties.
It’s believed that the first case appeared in the fall of 2012 in Berkeley, California.
A two-year-old girl named Sofia spent days in the intensive care unit at the Children’s Hospital Oakland because she was having difficulties breathing.
At the time it was believed she had asthma, however after a follow-up visit, her mother noticed that while reaching for something, the girl’s arm suddenly stopped.
She was later examined by a specialist, and although several treatments were tried, none worked and the prognosis was not encouraging. Today her left arm is paralyzed but she is able to run around like a typical preschooler.
Doctors believe that the illness is in the same enterovirus family as both polio and foot and mouth disease, but have been unable to confirm that theory.