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Cases of rare, polio-like paralysis targeting kids appear in Canada

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  • Cases of rare, polio-like paralysis targeting kids appear in Canada


    Cases of rare, polio-like paralysis targeting kids appear in Canada
    A mysterious disease affecting children in the U.S. has surfaced in Canada, doctors say
    Dr. Brian Goldman · 2 hours ago

    Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported a small surge in cases of a mysterious disease in children. More than 60 cases of the polio-like illness have been confirmed in 22 U.S. states in recent weeks. Now, doctors in Toronto say they're seeing cases appear in Canada.

    "I can confirm that since September, we have certainly seen an increase of patients with muscle weakness who also had a preceding viral illness," said Dr. Jeremy Friedman, associate pediatrician-in-chief at the Hospital for Sick Children. "These symptoms are typical of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and increases of similar cases have been reported by many other North American pediatric centres."

    Doctors do not know what causes the ailment, nor are they sure why more cases have been reported recently. Children are the victims in the vast majority of cases and doctors are not exactly sure why.

    Dr. Friedman would not give an exact figure on the number of new cases in Canada, but did say SickKids has seen "fewer than 20 probable cases of AFP." That is news to Health Canada.

    "Fewer than five cases have been reported from January to August 2018, which is the latest data we have available," said Health Canada spokesperson Anna Maddison. "For 2018, the observed number of cases is within the normal range."

    In an email sent to hospitals last week, SickKids doctors warned front-line physicians to stay on the lookout for new cases of AFP in Canada...

  • #2

    Canadian doctors see spike in limb paralysis among kids
    Acute Flaccid Myelitis

    A rare polio-like illness called Acute Flaccid Myelitis is being seen in children across the U.S. and now in Canada.

    Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press
    Published Monday, October 22, 2018 5:39PM EDT

    TORONTO -- Cases of a rare polio-like condition have begun turning up in some Canadian children, following reports of dozens of cases in the U.S. in recent weeks.

    Known as acute flaccid myelitis, the condition causes muscle weakness in one or more limbs, and typically occurs after some kind of viral infection.

    Dr. Jeremy Friedman, pediatrician-in-chief at the Hospital for Sick Children, wouldn't give an exact number, but said doctors at the Toronto hospital have seen less than 20 cases of limb-based paralysis since the beginning of September -- with about a dozen of them confirmed as acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM...

    ...A spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada said there have been 25 probable and five confirmed cases of sudden-onset muscle weakness in children reported in the country this year, but current surveillance data have not picked up any recent surge in cases...


    • #3

      October 22, 2018 5:08 pm
      Updated: October 22, 2018 5:11 pm
      Canadian children’s hospitals report cases of rare, polio-like illness that can cause paralysis
      By Leslie Young Senior National Online Journalist, Health Global News

      ...Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has seen about a dozen confirmed cases since the beginning of September, said Dr. Jeremy Friedman, associate pediatrician-in-chief at SickKids. Normally, they see maybe one case a year.

      The Montreal Children’s Hospital has had three cases in the last month and one during the summer. The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa has also had two cases since midsummer. Both hospitals say this is unusual.

      The B.C. Children’s Hospital said that it has not had any cases of AFM or related illnesses...


      • #4

        Viral polio-like illness strikes six Quebec children to date
        "I've been working (in this field) for 14 years and I have not seen this before," infectious-diseases specialist Christos Karatzios said.
        Aaron Derfel, Montreal Gazette
        Updated: October 24, 2018

        Montreal public-health authorities are baffled and disturbed by a surge of cases of children who have become paralyzed by a viral polio-like illness in recent weeks, echoing similar increases in the United States.

        This year, six children in Quebec are suspected of having developed acute flaccid myelitis, although that number is not considered official because of a lag time in verifying and reporting cases.

        Currently, doctors at the Montreal Children’s Hospital are taking care of two children with the debilitating disease, while two others who partially recovered have returned home. At Ste-Justine Hospital, two children are receiving supportive care and are being infused with intravenous immunoglobins to try to accelerate improvement.

        Preliminary data in the Montreal area suggest that preschool and elementary schoolchildren are most at risk of developing the illness. At the Montreal Children’s, the average age of the patients is four...