Child paralysis illness in CA has not spread to AZ - Tucson News Now

Child paralysis illness in CA has not spread to AZ

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The rare illness that is leaving children in California paralyzed has not made its way to Arizona or any other state, according to Arizona and federal authorities. 

California health officials said it's definitely not polio, but could be a virus that usually simply causes a cold.

There are five children who have confirmed cases of the condition in California. As many as 20 children may be affected.

Doctors are concerned the paralysis may be permanent.

In the confirmed cases, the children have some paralysis in their arms or legs.

The culprit may be a virus called enterovirus-68.

So far, the paralysis has been seen only in children.

We asked the Arizona Department of Health Services why that is.

"That's because a lot of times with these viruses, once you've been infected once to that particular strain of a virus, you have immunities and your cells can fight it off more easily. And so we'll more commonly see infections like this in kids because they haven't been exposed yet," says Jessica Rigler, Arizona Department of Health Services Chief of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control.

Rigler says small clusters of serious illnesses do happen periodically and usually do not spread beyond small areas.

Arizona and federal experts says it's unlikely the illness will extend beyond the current cluster of cases in California.

Paralysis from the enterorvirus is extremely rare.

"In many cases, people are infected with enteroviruses and don't have any symptoms at all. In cases where they do have symptoms, it's mostly cold-like symptoms, as I explained before. So to get paralysis or any other kind of complication like this is incredibly rare and almost unheard of," Rigler says.

Rigler says the Arizona Department of Health Services will be monitoring the situation.

She says the department is considering enhanced surveillance, meaning communicating more closely with doctors in Arizona.

Rigler reminds us that the best way to keep viruses from getting us sick is to frequently wash our hands and avoid sick people as much as we can.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • April the Giraffe

    Giraffe watch: April has busy day, fans freak out when webcam goes down

    Giraffe watch: April has busy day, fans freak out when webcam goes down

    Saturday, March 25 2017 3:23 AM EDT2017-03-25 07:23:01 GMT

    Thousands of fans who have watched the giraffe's livecam feed for over a month were startled when the feed went down temporarily Friday evening, leaving social media commenters to ask one another whether the giraffe had given birth during that time. She had not. 

    Thousands of fans who have watched the April's livecam feed for over a month were startled when the feed went down temporarily Friday evening, leaving social media commenters to ask one another whether the giraffe had given birth during that time. She had not. 

  • VIDEO: Cop calls fake IRS agent back, exchange goes viral

    VIDEO: Cop calls fake IRS agent back, exchange goes viral

    Friday, March 24 2017 12:41 PM EDT2017-03-24 16:41:00 GMT
    Friday, March 24 2017 12:41 PM EDT2017-03-24 16:41:00 GMT

    When a scam caller claiming to be an IRS agent unknowingly called a police officer and tried to scam him, hilarity ensued.

    When a scam caller claiming to be an IRS agent unknowingly called a police officer and tried to scam him, hilarity ensued.

  • UPDATE: Brad issues statement about #JusticeForBradsWife vs. Cracker Barrel movement

    UPDATE: Brad issues statement about #JusticeForBradsWife vs. Cracker Barrel movement

    Friday, March 24 2017 1:06 PM EDT2017-03-24 17:06:26 GMT
    So far, Cracker Barrel has not responded to requests for comment. (Source: Eli Christman on flickr.com)So far, Cracker Barrel has not responded to requests for comment. (Source: Eli Christman on flickr.com)

    Why did Cracker Barrel fire Brad's wife? It's really no one's business, other than Brad's and his wife's, but that hasn't stopped people around the world from demanding answers after a Harrison County, IN, man publicly asked the restaurant chain why his wife Nanette was let go from her job at the Cracker Barrel in Corydon.

    Why did Cracker Barrel fire Brad's wife? It's really no one's business, other than Brad's and his wife's, but that hasn't stopped people around the world from demanding answers after a Harrison County, IN, man publicly asked the restaurant chain why his wife Nanette was let go from her job at the Cracker Barrel in Corydon.

Powered by Frankly