Skip to main content

U of M researchers identify cause of polio-like illness that sickened six Minnesota kids

A virus is believed to be behind the sickness.
microscope-1817641_1280

A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe they've found the cause behind a polio-like illness that sickened six Minnesota children.

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), which is often compared to polio, was found in half a dozen kids from different parts of Minnesota starting in mid-September.

One of the children, a 7-year-old girl, remains hospitalized with the illness, which has caused her to lose all voluntary motor functions.

The other five children required hospital stays ranging from 1-14 days, with two of them requiring inpatient rehabilitation as they recovered.

Now in research published in the CDC's weekly journal, researchers say they believe that the rare, potentially fatal condition is being caused by the presence of a known virus – Enterovirus-D68.

They found E-D68 in the spinal fluid of the girl most seriously affected by AFM, and was found in a mouth swab of another of the children. It's assumed that the virus is behind the onset of AFM in all six children.

Follow Bring Me The News on LinkedIn

AFM affects the nervous system, causing sudden muscle weakness and other symptoms including drooping of the face or eyelids, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing, and in the most severe cases can lead to paralysis or death.

“Acute Flaccid Myelitis is incredibly scary for patients and families,” said Dr. Heidi Moline, the University of Minnesota’s chief pediatric resident who was the lead author of the report, per KARE 11.

"The fact that we were able to definitively identify the EV-D68 virus as the cause of paralysis in one of our Minnesota patients does suggest this virus as a probable cause in our other recent AFM cases.."

While the virus has been identified, there remains uncertainty over the best way to treat it, with the Star Tribune noting that patients had received multiple treatments over the course of their illness, and it's not clear yet what did and didn't work.

Next Up

Sourced_Q4_229260_A (1)

2PinkSquirrels - making memories with milkshakes

First Time Guests Get BOGO milkshakes starting December 1st and running through December 15th

SamBrinton

Government official accused of stealing luggage at MSP Airport

Charges state Sam Brinton stole luggage with its contents valued at over $2,000.

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 12.09.28 PM

Developer plans 'modern European' condos for Minnetonka

City planners are set to review a concept plan Thursday.

snow

Expect up to 8 inches in Twin Cities; another snowstorm next week?

The latest from Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

northern-long-eared-bat

Northern long-eared bat moved from threatened to endangered list

Populations affected by white-nose syndrome have declined by 97% or more.

JeronimoYanezBCA

Court: Ex-cop who fatally shot Philando Castile had teaching license wrongfully denied

The Court of Appeals sent the application back for reconsideration by the board.

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 7.26.15 AM

Multiple crashes, spinouts in Twin Cities as snow falls Tuesday morning

The metro could get up to six inches of snow throughout the day.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 5.39.25 PM

Couple critically injured in Kanabec County home attack identified

Jeff and Becky Ponto were found critically injured in their home Sunday morning.

police tape

Assault charges filed against Red Wing man shot by deputy

The reportedly suicidal man crashed his van into a power pole before he allegedly began chasing a deputy at the scene.

Related

U of M researchers identify link between e-cigarettes and cancer

E-cigs contain trace elements of a chemical that can establish in the body after inhalation.

U of M researchers make breakthrough in paralysis treatment

They've been able to restore some function in patients with devastating spinal cord injuries.

Researchers at the U of M reversed Alzheimer's in mice

The study is a major breakthrough in research of the disease, and may lead to new treatments.

U of M research may lead to earlier detection of autism

A computer program based on the research was 80 percent accurate in predicting who'd be diagnosed with autism.

Dr rose leslie

U of M doctor's vaping X-ray video goes viral on TikTok

The second-year resident has used the social media platform to get across a vital message.

U of M professor: Drugs aren't solution to kids' attention problems

A psychology professor from the University of Minnesota is making waves with an article in the Sunday New York Times. L. Alan Sroufe says medicating children is a misguided approach to treating attention disorders. "Putting children on drugs does nothing to change the conditions that derail their development in the first place," he writes.

coronavirus, pandemic, masks

Coronavirus: Pandemic perspectives from U of M expert, Mayo doctor

A Mayo doctor says 80% of people who get the virus won't even know they have it.