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Outbreak of polio-like illness is reported in California

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1780 (Published 26 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1780
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Researchers have described a cluster of five cases of a polio-like syndrome in children in California, and the state department of public health said that a score of similar cases were now under investigation.

In the cases for which details are available all the children developed acute flaccid paralysis of one or more of their limbs. Onset was abrupt, and the severity of symptoms typically reached its height within 48 hours.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans of the spinal cord revealed non-enhancing T2 hyperintensities of the central gray matter. Cerebral spinal fluid was found to be normal to mildly pleocytotic. In all cases Guillain-Barré syndrome and botulism …

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