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Mysterious paralysis virus affects kids throughout the country

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On Wednesday, at a Rhode Island hospital doctors confirmed that a ten-year old girl who died last week of a bacterial infection also had symptoms of the rare Enterovirus D-68.



(NBC) – Now while the Ebola virus may be scary, doctors at least know what to expect when someone contracts it.

The same can’t be said about the mysterious virus affecting hundreds of children throughout the country.

Parents are concerned that it may be linked to paralysis, and now even death, in these young patients.

On Wednesday, at a Rhode Island hospital doctors confirmed that a ten-year old girl who died last week of a bacterial infection also had symptoms of the rare Enterovirus D-68.

The question now is, what (if any role) did the virus play in the girl’s death?

Dr. Michael Finn from the Rhode Island Department of Health says, “We don’t have any way to know that with any certainty. We don’t know which came first and that’s not possible to know with the current state of our science.”

Now, hospitals nationwide are on alert to notify the C.D.C. about all patients with the virus, that is now in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

Four patients who have died tested positive for the virus, but it’s unclear what role the virus played in those deaths.

It appears most severe among children who have asthma, or other breathing problems.

Some children with symptoms of the virus have developed limb weakness or paralysis.

Dr Lozon from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital says, “In the last week or so children have come in with complains that they’re mot moving some of their limbs.”

Just this week, cases have been reported in Massachusetts,Missouri, California, and in Michigan one case involved a seven-month old baby boy.

The C.D.C. is also investigating a group of ten children in Denver who developed paralysis after a severe respiratory illness.

Four of them tested positive for Enterovirus.

Doctors say they don’t know if the paralysis is temporary or permanent.

Dr. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University says, “Well it’s right on the top of my radar of concern at the moment. It remains an unsolved disease mystery.”

Parents are now taking precautions.

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