Eleventh child in Colorado treated for virus-related paralysis symptoms

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 04, 2014 2:52 AM

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - The number of children treated in Colorado for limb weakness or paralysis-like symptoms after coming down with a respiratory virus has risen to 11, a hospital official said on Friday.

Melissa Vizcarra, spokeswoman for Children's Hospital Colorado, said the child in the latest case is suffering from muscle weakness but tests have not conclusively linked it to a nationwide outbreak of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).

More than 500 people, mostly children, in 43 states and the District of Columbia have been infected with EV-D68 since mid-August, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Four of the children suffering limb paralysis in Colorado have tested positive for EV-D68, and federal health officials are asking other states to report any similar clusters as they investigate a possible link.

At least four people infected with EV-D68 have died this year, although the CDC said it is unclear what role the virus played in their deaths.

A 10-year-old Rhode Island girl diagnosed with EV-D68 who died this week was also suffering from a staph infection, state health officials said on Wednesday.

Children's Hospital Colorado has treated all but one of the 11 paralysis cases in the state.  Some of the patients have been discharged, the state's chief medical director said this week.

EV D68 is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses, a group of viruses that are common at this time of year and cause 10 million to 15 million infections in the United States annually.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Hugh Lawson)