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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials on Tuesday reported a jump in cases of a rare paralyzing illness in children, and said it seems to be following an every-other-year pattern.
At least 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states this year, and at least 65 additional illnesses in those states are being investigated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similar waves of the same illness occurred in 2014 and 2016.
CDC officials say they haven’t found the cause. Some possible suspects, such as polio and West Nile virus, have been ruled out. Another kind of virus is suspected, but it’s been found in only some of the cases.
“This is a mystery so far,” the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier said in a call Tuesday with reporters.
About 90 percent of the cases are children who have suffered muscle weakness or paralysis, including in the face, neck, back or limbs. The symptoms tend to occur about a week after they had a fever and respiratory illness.
It is “a pretty dramatic disease,” but fortunately most kids recover, Messonnier said.
Health officials call the condition acute flaccid myelitis. The CDC would not release a list of the states reporting probable or confirmed cases. But some states have previously announced clusters, including Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, New York and Washington.
The cases in 2014 and 2016 were partly attributed to particular strains of respiratory germs called enteroviruses, which spread the most in the summer and fall.
Most people infected with enteroviruses suffer only minor symptoms like cough and runny nose. And though enteroviruses have been detected in some paralysis cases, it hasn’t been found in others, CDC officials say.
Lacking an established cause, health officials confirm cases through a review of brain scans and symptoms.
About 120 confirmed cases were reported in 2014. Another 149 were reported in 2016. In 2015 and 2017, the counts of reported illnesses were far lower.
The cases this year seem to be spread across much of the country, as were the earlier two waves. But mysteriously no other country has reported the emerging every-two-years pattern seen in the U.S., Messonnier said.
https://www .yahoo .com/news/cases-mysterious-paralyzing-illness-reported-22-states-175901034.html
First described in 1962 in children hospitalized for pneumonia and bronchiolitis, the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is an emergent viral pathogen. Since its discovery, during the long period of surveillance up to 2005, EV-D68 was reported only as a cause of sporadic outbreaks. In recent years, many reports from different countries have described an increasing number of patients with respiratory diseases due to EV-D68 associated with relevant clinical severity. In particular, an unexpectedly high number of children have been hospitalized for severe respiratory disease due to EV-D68, requiring intensive care such as intubation and mechanical ventilation. Moreover, EV-D68 has been associated with acute flaccid paralysis and cranial nerve dysfunction in children, which has caused concerns in the community. As no specific antiviral therapy is available, treatment is mainly supportive. Moreover, because no vaccines are available, conventional infection control measures (i.e., standard, for contacts and droplets) in both community and healthcare settings are recommended. However, further studies are required to fully understand the real importance of this virus. Prompt diagnosis and continued surveillance of EV-D68 infections are essential to managing and preventing new outbreaks. Moreover, if the association between EV-D68 and severe diseases will be confirmed, the development of adequate preventive and therapeutic approaches are a priority.
https://www.ncbi.nlm .nih .gov/pmc/articles/PMC4664996/
21 cases in the Philippines in 2008 – 2009
https://www.ncbi.nlm .nih .gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381551/
24 cases in the Netherlands in 2010
https://www.ncbi.nlm .nih .gov/pubmed/22177700
1152 cases in the US in 2014
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a member of the Picornaviridae family, was first identified in 1962 and is part of a group of small, nonenveloped RNA viruses. As a family, these viruses are among the most common causes of disease among humans. However, outbreaks of disease attributable to EV-D68 have been rarely reported in the previous 4 decades. Reports from a few localized outbreaks since 2008 describe severe lower respiratory tract infection in children. In the late summer of 2014, EV-D68 caused a geographically widespread outbreak of respiratory disease of unprecedented magnitude in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was first notified of increased respiratory viral activity by Children’s Mercy Hospitals (CMH) in Kansas City, Missouri, and EV-D68 was identified in 50% of nasopharyngeal specimens initially tested. Between mid-August and December 18, 2014, confirmed cases of lower respiratory tract infection caused by EV-D68 were reported in 1,152 people in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
https://www.ncbi.nlm .nih .gov/pubmed/25714788
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