Cairo: Dr. Hani Ramzi Awad
The medical community in the United States and experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have warned of the re-emergence of a strange infection similar to polio in several separate places, with a close proximity to the epidemic in the coming fall. They explained that bouts of flaccid paralysis resulting from a defect in the medulla lining the nervous system, Acute flaccid myelitis, appear in the United States at a rate closer to stability every two years, beginning in 2014, from August to November. Despite previous warnings and attempts to uncover ways to prevent this disease, these efforts have not been successful so far, which threatens to spread the disease at a faster rate and in greater numbers.
The centers indicated that half of the flaccid paralysis cases required confinement in intensive care. There is a child out of every four who needed to be placed on a ventilator so that he could survive after the respiratory muscles were weakened in a way that they could not perform their function in breathing, which is what causes death in the end if he is disconnected from the device, according to CDC ‘s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report was published in 2018 for CDC’ s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
It is known that this type of paralysis is considered a medical emergency and must be directed to the hospital immediately in case of suspicion, as the progression from paralysis of the limbs to respiratory failure occurs quickly.
The centers explained that what makes the matter more complicated this year is the presence of the “emerging corona” virus, COVID-19, and there is a possibility that early symptoms of paralysis will appear and are not properly diagnosed or diagnosed late, given that most families are afraid to go with children to the hospital for fear of infection, As well as the similarity of symptoms of the two diseases in the beginning. The two diseases begin with symptoms that are close to the common cold, such as a high temperature, cold, cough, headache and sore throat.
The centers were not able to determine whether the numbers will increase this year, as expected, or not, as injuries may increase as a result of the natural increase every two years or as a result of being incorrectly diagnosed as Corona disease, especially since the numbers have actually increased over the past years.
Symptoms of enterovirus
In 2014, the number of infections was only 120 cases, and the number increased to 153 in 2016, ending with 238 cases in 2018, which increases the possibility of infection this year. But on the other hand, and according to doctors’ expectations, and according to studies about the virus that causes this disease, precautionary measures to limit the Corona virus may contribute to social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands constantly and adhering to public hygiene in gathering places in also reducing the severity of this virus responsible for paralysis, especially as it is Enterovirus – D68, which can be transmitted through the mouth by eating an infected object.
Scientists stated that 9 out of 10 cases of flaccid paralysis were initially flu-like symptoms or a simple infection in the upper part of the respiratory system and these symptoms continued for a week, then symptoms of muscle weakness and loss of function began depending on the location of the injury and in some cases this weakness extended It quickly reaches the respiratory system, which is life-threatening, as the virus infects the nervous system, especially the spinal cord, and affects an area called the gray matter. Most patients feel symptoms suddenly in the form of weakness in the leg or forearm muscles, and this weakness can develop into complete paralysis within hours Or a few days.
It is noted in the previous report for the year 2018 that 86 percent of cases had a limb weakness between August and November, and September was the worst month of infection, as almost a third occurred. Injuries in this month. Half of the injured children suffered from walking difficulties due to the weakness of the leg muscles, and also suffered from neck and back pain, and also a third of the children complained of a high temperature. The centers advised doctors that any child suffering from muscle weakness should be referred suddenly to the hospital, as many of these cases were delayed by two or three days until parents began to notice symptoms of inability to walk.
Although the symptoms of flaccid paralysis are similar to poliovirus, the vaccination used contributed to the absence of any infections, especially since the disease ended in the United States from the end of the seventies of the last century. Therefore, experts advise that it is necessary to deal with suspected cases quickly enough and detain the child in the hospital immediately, especially since all Approximately (98%) cases, according to the 2018 report, required hospitalization, and there is a 10% delay in hospitalization for a period of four days or more, and this may be what exacerbated their condition later. Parents should not tolerate children’s complaints of not being able to walk or suffering from normal traffic.