WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US authorities admitted yesterday that they ignored the direct cause of severe paralysis due to a sharp rise in this rare childhood disease that worries many parents.
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A total of 252 children were treated this year for symptoms of a polio-like disease that causes paralysis of the hands and feet, said Nancy Masunya, director of the National Center for Vaccines and Respiratory Diseases in the United States.
Since last week, 33 new cases have been reported, and with 80 confirmed patients, we seem to be moving towards one year with the last two years of the peak (149 cases in 2016 and 120 cases in 2014), according to Ms. Masunia.
Only about ten cases were exposed for 2015 and 2017, the year in which a child dies from a severe and paralysis (AFP). More than 400 cases have been approved in the laboratory since 2014, when the syndrome began.
The scientist promised that the disease, whose source remains mysterious and that there is no specific treatment, remains "rare", despite the growing fear of the parents.
The disease affects the nervous system
In most cases, children are between 2 and 8 years of age. Everyone complained of fever and respiratory problems between three and ten days before the paralysis of suffering. Some have healed quickly, many others remain paralyzed. The disease affects the nervous system, the spine.
Of 125 cases examined by the CDC, half were enterovirus or rhinovirus, causing fever, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle pain. But scientists still do not know the exact cause of PFA.
"It could be one of the viruses we've already identified, or a virus we have not yet identified," Nancy Masnaya told the press. "Or it could be that the virus triggers another process that causes PFA, through an autoimmune process." "The CDC is an agency that works with science and today, science does not give an answer," she added.
Given the embarrassment of the researchers and the lack of treatment, the CDC called on parents to "seek immediate medical help for children with sudden weakness of hands and feet."