Enterovirus linked to paralysis

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HOUSTON, Tx. -- Enterovirus-D68, the one that's landing kids in the hospital left and right, is now linked to paralysis.

"We`ve had 9 cases recently since August reported in the Denver area, and 9 of those patients with this infection have gone on to develop neurologic symptoms which include weakness in an arm or leg or even just paralysis." explained Dr. Pedro Mancias of the Department of Pediatrics, with UTHealth Medical School.

Of the 277 cases reported in the U.S. this year, the symptoms of paralysis are new and fairly rare, but those symptoms are not uncommon with viral infections. In most cases, they are temporary.

"Most patients do get better, but you may have residual weakness." added Dr. Mancia.

One child at Texas Children`s Hospital is being tested for the virus, and 11 cases have been confirmed in the Dallas area. The docs say don`t panic, but keep an eye on kids who have cold symptoms that don`t go away within a few days.

Some parents aren`t taking any chances. "We`re ,actually, exceptionally worried about it just because this little man has a very bad case of asthma, so we`re constantly, already, having to monitor for breathing issues." according to Eric Copeland.

Others are less worried but still take precautions to help their little ones avoid getting sick.

"We make sure the kids wash their hands. We wash our hands, keep things clean. Use a lot of hand sanitizers." said John Sermas.

"They wash their hands before they eat or drink. I have the antibacterial wipes and the little spray stuff." said Tanya Vaughn.

So, for now, no need for drama. Just keep an eye on your children, and if you`re concerned, as always, check with your doctor.


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