Doctors are worried, as a polio-like virus has recently harmed a number of children. The mysterious virus is leaving the victims with paralyzed limbs.
The symptoms of the virus include a loss of limb activity, causing the muscles to shrink due to atrophy. The average age of the victim is around twelve.
Just like the old polio, this new virus has the potential to cause respiratory insufficiency. Children are at danger of losing all four limbs.
The first case appeared in Oakland in 2012 shortly followed by two more in the San Francisco Bay area. In all, the number of victims include roughly twenty-five. Doctors confirm that the victims in California “definitely do not have polio.”
The Polio disease is spread from person-to-person contact or from the ingestion of items contaminated with feces of an infected person. There is no cure for polio but a vaccination was invented in 1954.
Polio was one of the most dreaded diseases before the vaccination during the 20th century. It mostly affects young children as it invades the nervous system.
Syria suffered a recent outbreak of polio in 2013. Doctors believe the outbreak was due to poor vaccination in the country facing war. More than sixty cases were reported.
So far, the cases of the new virus have been restricted to California. Doctors are concerned that parents will not look for the virus.
“This is really very rare,” Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto said, “But we are asking any families who notice a sudden onset of weakness to see their doctors immediately.”