Nine Colorado children have been stricken with paralysis and muscle weakness since the beginning of August, and now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with state health officials have announced that the odd outbreak is likely caused by a virus.
Reports say that the CDC has issued an alert across the country to warn other doctors to be on the lookout for similar instances in their patients. Enterovirus 68 is thought to be the cause of the polio-like cases after testing was done on all nine patients. Eight of the tests showed a detection for the virus while one test was reportedly unclear.
Dr. Larry Wolk, a pediatrician and director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, says that all nine children had respiratory illnesses just prior to the onset of paralysis and muscle weakness.
“This is a very small number of patients," said Wolk. "That's why we're asking if there are other cases. People shouldn't panic.”
Wolk adds that there were other striking similarities between all the cases.
“All nine had some kind of lesion show up on their MRIs,” said Wolk. “Everything from just being limp or having decreased movement all the way to paralysis-like symptoms where the children can't move have been reported to us. Some of these kids are pretty young, so it's hard to make that diagnosis of paralysis.”
The CDC warns that people all over the country should be on the lookout for similar sudden symptoms.