2 Children treated for paralysis in St. Louis; link to rare enterovirus 68 probed

Doctors at St. Louis Children's Hospital are seeing children with muscle weakness or even paralysis, which is possibly related to the rare enterovirus 68.

Two children are being treated in St. Louis for a severe symptom; muscle weakness or paralysis, that could be linked to the enterovirus. Paralysis that occurs when a virus attacks the spinal cord can be temporary or long-lasting.

Over the last few months, hundreds of children from the St. Louis area have been treated for severe respiratory illnesses; some of those cases were linked to enterovirus 68.

\"We do occasionally see cases like this and typically it is very hard for us to define what the cause is,\" said Dr. Greg Storch. \"Usually it's a viral infection, but it is difficult to link it to a specific virus.\"

Doctors say the paralysis should not affect all of those suffering from the virus.

\"We think this is a small part of the overall enterovirus d 68 outbreak, but that outbreak has been very large and its caused us to see increased number of patients in the ER and increased number of patients in the Intensive Care Unit,\" Storch said.

Children, not adults, are most susceptible to the virus. Mild symptoms tend to include a cough, fever, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.

If a child starts to lose feelings in their limbs, medical help should be sought immediately.

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