Boston doctors searching for cause of polio-like symptoms

Doctors say that some viruses can, in rare cases, lead to muscle weakness.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Four Boston area children are being treated for symptoms of muscle weakness, and doctors are looking into whether there is a link between this and Enterovirus D-68.

Similar cases of this mysterious paralysis also affected children in Denver last month. Four of the 10 children in Colorado were diagnosed with Enterovirus D-68 prior to their muscle related symptoms, and doctors there are still trying to figure out if there is a link between the two.

The four children with the symptoms in Boston were all recently sick with a respiratory illness, but there is still no confirmation whether D-68 cased the symptoms these children are dealing with now.

Dr. Mark Gorman, at Boston Children’s Hospital, said Tuesday, “Some patients have had weakness of the arms, some patients have had weakness of the legs. In the patients who have had weakness in the legs, they have had difficulty walking.” Dr. Gorman also said, “I’m going to emphasize from the outset that the relationship between the patients with polio-like symptoms and Enterovirus D-68 is unclear at this time.”

It was less than a week ago that eight specimens taken at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield tested positive for Enterovirus D-68.

Doctors said that other viruses can, in rare cases, lead to muscle weakness. So far, one of the patients in Boston tested negative for Enterovirus D-68. Test results are pending for the other three.

Pediatric doctors urge parents to keep up on frequent hand washing for both themselves and their children, to pay attention to any breathing issues, sneezing, runny nose, or fever your child is having. Call your pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions.

Related: Enterovirus D-68 Prevention Tips

Comments are closed.