Virus probed in polio-like cases in Massachusetts

Patients have yet tested positive for enterovirus 68

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Children’s Hospital says it is treating four patients for muscle weakness or paralysis similar to nine cases reported in Colorado, and they are investigating if the symptoms are related to enterovirus 68.

Neurologist Dr. Mark Gorman said at a news conference Tuesday none of the Boston patients has yet tested positive for enterovirus 68, as some did in Colorado. He said it’s not clear if the virus is the cause.

The Boston patients are between 4 and 15 years old, and all had respiratory symptoms within two weeks before their neurological symptoms.

Enterovirus 68 is not new, but has gotten attention this year because of hundreds of severe respiratory cases reported since August in 41 states including Massachusetts.

Paralysis is a rare complication of enterovirus 68, but the symptoms also can be caused by other germs.

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