Quantcast
Connect with us

Doctors puzzled by polio-like illness crippling California kids: ‘What we’re seeing now is bad’

Published

on

As many as 25 children in California have been afflicted with a rare polio-like illness leaving them with paralyzed limbs and respiratory problems, USA Today reports.

While testing has shown that  none of the children have polio, the new illness has much in common with the infectious viral disease which was all but eliminated following the introduction of a vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk in 1954.

ADVERTISEMENT

“What we’re seeing now is bad. The best-case scenario is complete loss of one limb, the worst is all four limbs, with respiratory insufficiency, as well,” said Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. “It’s like the old polio.”

The first reported case appeared in 2012 when Sofia Jarvis in Berkeley began to experience wheezing and difficulty breathing. The 2-year-old spent days in the intensive care unit with doctors believing that she had asthma.

Following a check-up her mother, Jessica Tomei, realized something else was wrong.

“As we were leaving the doctor’s office, I noticed that she went to grab something with her left arm and she stopped, midway,” Tomei said.

Sofia was brought to Dr. Van Haren’s clinic with “a unique set of symptoms” where she was treated with steroids and intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, used to reduce the severity of infections by giving the body antibodies to protect against bacteria and viruses.

ADVERTISEMENT

“None of it helped,” said Van Haren, a neurology professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“He told us right away that the prognosis was really poor and that she’s not going to get better,” Tomei said.

Today, at age 4, Sofia’s left arm is paralyzed and she has weakness in her left leg as well as slight breathing issues.

ADVERTISEMENT

Since the diagnosis Dr. Van Haren and other neurologists, worried about the possibility of the appearance of a new disease, have searched through recent medical files where they found two more cases, both in the San Francisco Bay area.

“We don’t have a final case count, but it’s probably in the neighborhood of 25 cases, all in California,” said Van Haren.

ADVERTISEMENT

California is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to see if there are cases outside California. So far none have been reported.

Van Haren suspects the culprit is an enterovirus,  a family of viruses that includes polio but also the milder hand, foot and mouth disease, common in infants and children.

Unfortunately while there’s a vaccine for the polio virus, “we don’t have vaccines for the other enteroviruses,” Van Haren said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The California Department of Public Health has asked health care providers to report any polio-like cases they might identify and send specimens so that we can better assess the situation,” said Carol Glaser, chief of the encephalitis and special investigation section of the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento.

[Portrait of a little girl with thermometer in bed on Shutterstock]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate

Published

on

The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.

The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.

During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.

Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info

Published

on

Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.

Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.

Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report

Published

on

Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.

"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image