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CDC Warns Doctors to Look Out for Virus With Polio-Like Symptoms in Kids

  • Enterovirus strain can cause muscle weakness and paralysis
  • US physicians reported seeing a rise in cases in August
CDC Headquarters As Agency Take Heat Over Coronavirus Testing Kits
Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg

Doctors should be on the lookout for cases of a respiratory virus that can sometimes cause polio-like muscle weakness and paralysis in children, US health officials said. 

Young children with respiratory illnesses and muscle weakness may be infected with enterovirus D68, a lung virus strain that’s been linked to rare, serious cases acute flaccid myelitis, a nervous system ailment, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report Tuesday. The most common signs and symptoms seen in hospitalized children have been shortness of breath or rapid, shallow breathing, wheezing, coughing and nasal congestion. Infections can also worsen asthma symptoms.