Rare cases of rare disease

The US authorities yesterday acknowledged that they ignored the immediate cause of acute flaccid paralysis with a marked increase in this rare childhood illness, which is causing many parents.

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This year, 252 children were treated for the symptoms of this polyol-like illness, causing a paralysis of the hands and feet, says Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Vaccine and Respiratory Center in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since the last week, 33 new cases have been reported and in 80 confirmed patients, it seems that they are moving in the direction of the year in the phase with the last two years of climax (149 cases in 2016 and 120 cases in 2014), according to Mrs Messonnier.

By 2015 and 2017 only 10 cases were detected, years in which the child died due to acute flacid paralysis (AFP). More than 400 cases have been confirmed in the laboratory since 2014, when the syndrome began.

The scientist assured that the disease, whose origin remains jammed and against which there is no special treatment, has remained "rare" despite the growing concern of the parents.

The disease affects the nervous system

Most cases include children aged 2 to 8 years. Everyone complained about the heat and respiratory problems between three and ten days before the paralysis. Some people have quickly recovered, many remain paralyzed. The disease affects the nervous system in the spinal cord.

Of the 125 cases studied by the CDC, half was positive for enterovirus or rhinovirus, causing fever, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle pain. But scientists still do not know the exact cause of PFA.

"This can be one of the already discovered viruses or a virus we have not yet discovered," Nancy Messonnier told reporters. "Could it be that the virus triggers another process that causes PFA with the autoimmune process." "CDC is an agency that works with science and currently science does not provide an answer," she added.

Addressing concerns and lack of treatment, the CDC on Tuesday urged parents to "seek immediate medical attention for children who suffer from sudden weakness of the arms and legs".

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