Polio-like syndrome

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Polio-like syndrome is a general description of a group of symptoms which mimic polio, including rarely permanent paralysis. Various causes have been found, including some viruses from the same virus group, the enteroviruses as polio: enterovirus 68, enterovirus 71, and coxsackievirus A7.[1][2] These are suspected in many cases of acute flaccid myelitis, which is essentially the same condition. A study of some of the cases in 2014 found that when enterovirus 68 was detected, it was from a strain that only emerged in 2010.[3] Other non-virus causes of polio-like symptoms are observed, though rarely, from snake bite, spider bite, scorpion sting, tick bite, or chemicals such as arsenic and organophosphorus insecticides.[4]

Over 50 cases were reported in the U.S. in 2014.[5]

At least 107 cases were reported in the U.S. in 2014[6]


  1. ^ 'About 20' cases of polio-like illness found in California, Jacque Wilson and Ashley Hayes, CNN February 25, 2014
  2. ^ Vaccines, Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012, p. 605
  3. ^ A novel outbreak enterovirus D68 strain associated with acute flaccid myelitis cases in the USA (2012–14): a retrospective cohort study, The Lancet, Alexander L Greninger, Samia N Naccache, et al., 30 March 2015
  4. ^ "Nonpolio causes of polio-like paralytic syndromes", JH Gear, Rev Infect Dis. 1984 May-Jun; 6 Suppl 2:S379-84
  5. ^ The Mysterious Polio-Like Disease Affecting American Kids, The Atlantic, Dan Hurley, OCT 24 2014
  6. ^ 107 children stricken by mysterious polio-like illness, USA TODAY, Liz Szabo, JAN 28 2015