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Midstate Doctors Monitor Updates on California's Polio-like Illness - Erika Kurre

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MT. JULIET, TN - Growing concern for children here in the midstate as more information is released about California's polio-like illness cases.

We're told Tennessee health directors have not yet issued any advisories about this to doctors and there are no reported cases here in Tennessee.
But that's not keeping them from being on guard.

Dr. Seth Banks at Summit Medical Associates in Mt. Juliet is following updates from pediatric neurologists in California.

Pediatric Neurologist Dr. Keith Van Haren says, "Our suspicion is that this is a virus but that's unproven.  We know it's not polio virus.  There are other viruses that can do this."

4-year old Sofia Jarvis is one of five patients that Dr. Van Haren is studying.
She suddenly became paralyzed in her left arm a year and a half ago after showing symptoms of asthma.

An MRI later showed a lesion on her spinal cord.

The mystery illness has partially paralyzed about two dozen other children across California.

All five of the children in Dr. Van Haren's studies were immunized against polio.

But right now, there is no vaccine or treatment for this illness and doctors don't know how it's spread.

Still, we're told it's important to keep children on the recommended vaccine schedule.

And it won't hurt to stay on guard for similar symptoms in your children.

The most common signs are a respiratory illness followed by weakness in the child's limbs.
We're told for now, washing your hands often and avoiding close contact with others who are sick can help.