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Japan: Acute Flaccid Paralysis on the rise; EV-D68 suspected

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  • Japan: Acute Flaccid Paralysis on the rise; EV-D68 suspected


    Limb paralysis cases in children on rise, virus like polio feared
    November 7, 2018 at 15:15 JST

    Health officials are concerned with an increasing number of cases in October of a polio-like disorder called acute flaccid paralysis that suddenly paralyzes a child's limbs, which flared up in an outbreak in 2015.

    The National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) said that a few patients across Japan typically report symptoms of paralysis each week, but the NIID received reports of nine cases from Oct. 22 to 28, following 10 the previous week.

    “The number of patients, 10, for a week is too high,” said Keiko Taya, a senior researcher of the NIID’s Infectious Disease Surveillance Center.

    The total number of patients reporting paralysis since May is 86. Eight cases occurred in Hyogo and Gifu prefectures. Six were in Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture, five in Fukuoka Prefecture and four in Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures.

    Health officials advise people to make sure to wash their hands and consult with physicians as soon as symptoms appear.

    Three years ago, numerous patients were infected with the enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) at the same time a number of those suffering from paralysis were reported.

    The health ministry has been monitoring the situation by instructing medical institutions across Japan to report any cases since May. It is believed that EV-D68 may be the cause of the recent surge in paralysis patients...