Polio-Like Syndrome Found in 5 California Children — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 24, 2014

Polio-Like Syndrome Found in 5 California Children

By Amy Orciari Herman

A polio-like syndrome was identified in five children in California between August 2012 and July 2013, according to findings released on Sunday in advance of the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting.

The children had acute flaccid paralysis in at least one limb and related spinal cord abnormalities on MRI. (Children who met criteria for Guillain-Barre syndrome or botulism were excluded.) Paralysis had a sudden onset, peaking in severity within 2 days. Three of the children had respiratory symptoms before paralysis onset.

All had been vaccinated against polio. Two children tested positive for enterovirus 68 (a rare virus associated with polio-like symptoms); the remaining three cases had no identifiable cause. Despite treatment, all had poor limb function at 6 months.

The researchers emphasize that the condition is "very, very rare." Nonetheless, they say that the cases "highlight the possibility of an emerging infectious polio-like syndrome in California."

Reader Comments (3)

FRCA Physician, Anesthesiology, Bronglais Hospital

This report describes acute onset flaccid paralysis involving a limb and peaking in 2 days. What is not stated is whether this is permanent or transient .

DrPhilip Siegel, MD Physician, Surgery, Specialized


Jon Wilcox FRNZCGP Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, Auckland

EV71 caused similar problems and continues to do so in Eastern Asia - thus the vaccine developed by the Chinese government last year.

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