Colorado doctors investigate mystery illness in 12 children

World Today

Doctors are grappling with a medical mystery currently unfolding in the United States that has left 12 patients with partial paralysis. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Colorado where three patients are in the hospital.

Colorado doctors investigate mystery illness in 12 children

Colorado doctors investigate mystery illness in 12 children

A medical mystery is unfolding in the U.S. A dozen patients are struck with partial paralysis. But why? CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Colorado where three patients are still hospitalized as doctors search for answers.

At Children’s Hospital in Colorado, doctors recently treated a young girl who first had a fever, then felt weakness in her arm.

“My husband and I are hopeful that maybe she’s improving a little bit in her strength. It’s a little hard to tell cause she’s also really learning how to use other muscles instead of the weak ones to do things,” says the girl’s mother.

The children, ages 1 to 18, mostly from Colorado, have been hospitalized in the past month after experiencing weakness in their limbs. Once hospitalized, doctors have also detected inflammation in their spinal cords. All 12 children came down with a severe respiratory illness before being admitted to the hospital.

“They’re also distinct because many of them have developed facial weakness or difficulties with eye movement and difficulty swallowing,” said Teri Schreiner, a pediatric neurologist.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control are now investigating a possible link between the partial paralysis and Enterovirus D-68, a respiratory illness that’s affected 600 people, mostly children, in 43 states in the United States. Colorado health officials believe the frequency of Enterovirus cases may have peaked.

The mother of one child with muscle weakness believes her daughter will fully recover.

“At dinner last week, she said: Mom, Dad, will I ever be able to use my arm again? We told her yes. We said she might need to relearn some things, might have to do some things differently,” she says.

Doctors treating this disease say it’s time above any of their medicine that has helped patients heal so far.