100 Cases Of Paralysis Dubbed As “Medical Mystery’ By Doctors

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In this photo taken on Thursday, May 5, 2016, Pakistani Dr. Javed Akram, left, examines children Abdul Rasheed, 9, centre left, and Shoaib Ahmed, 13, at a hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan. The boys are normal active children during the day. But once the sun goes down, they both lapse into a vegetative state — unable to move or talk. Akram, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he had no idea what was causing the symptoms. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Paralysis In American Children Is Akin To Polio

Since last year, more than 100 children across America have come down with a mysterious paralysis. The reason for the condition is not known, but it is akin to polio. The first cases were reported in August last year and the reason for the affliction is not known either. Reports of the illness mostly began surfacing around the time enterovirus D68, a severe respiratory condition, broke out among hundreds of children nationwide. It had been reported in around 33 states. According to Mary Anne Jackson, chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, “[I]t’s a medical mystery,” “It was the largest outbreak of its type ever reported in the world.”

Researchers Tried To Find Link Between Paralysis And Enterovirus D68

When the paralysis case surfaced around the time that the enterovirus D68 outbreak occurred, scientists and researchers thought that there may be some connection between the two and maybe enterovirus D68 was responsible for the paralysis in children. However, further research did not establish any connection. They said that the cases are most similar to the enteroviruses, adenoviruses, West Nile viruses and Herpes viruses. The CDC is referring to the paralysis cases as “acute flaccid myelitis” for now.

Blood Serum Samples Tested For Leads

Among all the patients struck down by paralysis was one named Billy Sticklen aged 13. He said that he could not move his limbs2 weeks after he had a bad case of respiratory infection. He was treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and now he is much better than before. Blood serum samples have been taken from 500 toddlers, children, teenagers and adults from 2012 with the hopes of determining the extent to which enterovirus D68 circulated before the paralysis outbreak.

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