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Cause of Children?s Paralysis Remains Unclear

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  • Cause of Children?s Paralysis Remains Unclear
    Cause of Children?s Paralysis Remains Unclear


    More than 50 children in 23 states have had mysterious episodes of paralysis to their arms or legs, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The cause is not known, although some doctors suspect the cases may be linked to infection with enterovirus 68, a respiratory virus that has sickened thousands of children in recent months.


    ?At the moment, it looks like whatever the chances are of getting this syndrome are less than one in a million,? said Mark A. Pallansch, the director of the division of viral diseases at the C.D.C.


    More than 100 similar cases have been brought to the attention of the C.D.C. But only half fit the agency?s strict definition: a case of sudden-onset limb weakness since August in a patient younger than 21 who has certain spinal cord lesions.

    Certain illnesses produce similar symptoms, said Dr. Mark Gorman, a neurologist at Boston Children?s Hospital, which has treated six patients. ?If you include those other cases, it would dilute any potential to find a cause,? he said.

    For instance, routine transverse myelitis is a neurological disorder that causes motor weakness, but scans of the spinal cord in those patients usually show inflammation in the gray and the white matter of the spinal cord. Children suffering recent instances of limb weakness have damage largely in the gray matter of the spine.


    But not all of the children with limb weakness have tested positive for enterovirus 68. ?It?s very difficult to say that this is causal,? said Dr. Teri Schreiner, a neurologist at Children?s Hospital Colorado....

    Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic.

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