A mystery virus similar to polio is leaving young children with forms of paralysis in one or more limbs. The virus has been initially indentified as being the extremely rare “enterovirus 68”. The virus is in the same family as polio, a disease which causes paralysis and death. Polio has not been seen in the United States for almost three decades. This is due to inoculation programs in the United States and globally through the World Health Organization. According to WHO, polio only exists in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
What has health officials concerned is that 5 children have been affected and all were up to date on childhood shots. It is unknown how the children became exposed or how the virus is being transmitted. Healthcare providers are being asked to look out for symptoms that include fever, runny nose, cough, skin rash and body aches. The Centers for Disease Control, Epidemic Intelligence Unit is also deployed in the region.