After the reports of limb paralysis in children emerged in Colorado, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun looking for possible association, if any, between limb weakness and the recent enterovirus D68 outbreak that sent many children to the hospital across the United States.
CDC reported eight cases of children from Colorado who developed a respiratory virus and subsequently suffered limb weakness leading to varying degrees of paralysis in some cases.
Denver reported eight cases of the respiratory illness so far, out of which six of the children have been tested positive for enteroviruses or rhinoviruses (cold viruses) with four of the six testing positive for enterovirus D68. The remaining two cases still await final results of the clinical trial.
According to the CDC officials, the federal health body is currently investigating whether the enterovirus D68 virus led to the onset of neurologic symptoms in the children. The recent reports have suggested infection in the samples of spinal fluid collected from the affected children. The samples, however, showed no traces of any specific virus within the fluid itself.
The health officials also tested the samples for polio or west nile virus but the test shown negative results thus far. The clinical trial also showed possibility of enteroviruses displaying infectious features in rare cases that can mimic infection with polio viruses.
According to the recent CDC data, the respiratory virus has so far affected 277 patients across 40 states in the US and it is likely to claim many more cases due to lack of widespread ability to test for the virus.
Cough, runny nose, congestion, fever, muscle aches and a mild rash are the common symptoms for viral infection. The children with asthma are at higher risk of developing a more severe course of the respiratory problem, leading to the requirement for mechanical ventilation.
Among the target groups include children and teens between the age group six months and 18 years. The viral infection is most commonly found among those children who fall in the age group 3 to 5 years.
The CDC has so far not reported any deaths from the respiratory viral infection.