Author: Lea Jackson
After being almost disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus that can cause paralysis similar to polio in children has emerged in the United States again.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been multiple cases associated with enterovirus D-68. Officials assume that a small number of these episodes may progress to acute flaccid myelitis, a dangerous neurological disorder that has been seen in prior epidemics.
What does statistics show?
The CDC published health recommendations about EV-D68 on weekend. Starting from August 2022, clinics in several regions have reported a rise in severe respiratory illnesses and the number of hospitalized kids.
The causes for this were 2 groups of viruses, called rhinoviruses and enteroviruses.
Additional analysis has revealed that some of these episodes were brought on by EV-D68.
In addition, a high percentage of respiratory diseases linked to the virus were reported this summer compared to the previous three years, according to the CDC’s monitoring statistics.
More about the virus
EV-D68 is one of the numerous viruses that commonly affect kids and causes a common cold. Although it has recently become clear that the virus can cause AFM, the virus is similar to the poliovirus, which is well known for causing paralytic syndrome in 0.1% of patients.
The EV-D6uue recently had a mutation that increased its resemblance to polio. As a result, it can result in AFM in some cases.
- Spontaneous limb weakness
- Slurred speech
- Facial weakness
- Back or limb ache
In the worst situations, a paralysis that threatens life and results in respiratory failure can occur. Some individuals can be permanently paralyzed
The spread of the virus
Enteroviruses of many kinds are likely one of the many causes of AFM. However, the increase in incidence that has been observed since at least 2014 is strongly tied to EV-D68 outbreaks in particular. During the previous ten years, these EV-D68 and AFM epidemics happened every two years. The main reason for this may be the immunity fall among people.
Since the CDC started tracking AFM in 2014, there have been about 700 reported cases. There were about 150 to 200 cases of AFM during previous years of the outbreak. There have only been 13 incidents confirmed so far in 2022. However, the condition usually arises weeks after the common cold’s early signs and symptoms. Similarly, AFM epidemics have previously occurred after EV-D68 outbreaks. Increased awareness of AFM in the upcoming weeks will be crucial, according to the CDC, which urges medics to be on the watch for the condition.
The Final Words
This summer, the poliovirus has made a very unwelcome comeback in the United States. A young person from New York got paralytic polio in July. Since then, the virus has been confirmed in the state’s wastewater, raising concerns about the possibility of future spread. Thanks to a high vaccination rate, the virus may not spread very far, but it still poses a risk to those who have not had vaccinations. Additionally, its comeback would threaten the worldwide campaign to eliminate polio as a human disease.