Scientists have discovered what they believe to be a new virus similar to polio. They also surmise that it is to blame for several dozen cases of child paralysis throughout the last year.
Officials have dubbed it enterovirus C105 and have discovered that it is a virus related to polio, Live Science reports.
In the United States alone, over 100 children are suspected to have contracted the virus after they developed acute flaccid myelitis, a condition that creates muscle weakness and paralysis in their limbs.
Previously, scientists believed that it was enterovirus D68 that had been causing the outbreak. However, they discovered only a fifth of the paralyzed children carried that strain, suggesting that there was another one out there.
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Researchers were able to find the enterovirus C105 in the body of one paralyzed girl as part of a study.
The girl, 6, had previously contracted a cold from her family members that evolved into a pain in her arms. Eventually her shoulders began to drop and she could not properly use her right hand.
Doctors diagnosed her with acute flaccid myelitis and she was later diagnosed with the enterovirus C105. The virus was only recently discovered and the 6-year-old girl is the first reported case of the virus in the United States.
According to University of Virginia School of Medicine Professor Ronald Turner, the results of the study should make people aware that “there’s another virus out there that has this association” with being paralyzed.
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“We probably shouldn’t be quite so fast to jump to enterovirus D68 as the only cause of these cases," he told Live Science.
Researchers have noted that most tests often miss the enterovirus C105 as it is a newer strain and therefore harder to find.
The study from the research of the enterovirus C105 will be published in the October issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.