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Polio-like outbreak identified in California

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A new polio-like illness has affected at least 20 children in California over the past 18 months, in an outbreak first identified by Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital pediatric neurologist Keith Van Haren.

In a report on the “new type of acute flaccid paralysis” that will be presented to the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in April, Van Haren notes that the five cases he studied did not regain motor function even after treatment.

While the exact cause of the disease is unknown, researchers suspect it may be caused by a virus, as two of the patients tested positive for enterovirus-68.

Van Haren emphasized to CNN that this new disease is not an epidemic. However, he encouraged parents to immediately take children to a doctor if they exhibit any symptoms of paralysis.

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Alex Zivkovic is a Desk Editor for the news section who likes to cover stories on academics and student activism on campus. Alex is a sophomore studying Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with an interest in representation of gender in literature and visual art. He is from Irvine, California. To contact Alex, email him at aleksa ‘at’ stanford.edu.