ARIZONA NEWS

Team of Arizona researchers find specific tie to paralyzing virus

Jan 22, 2019, 3:00 PM
(Pixabay.com Photo)...
(Pixabay.com Photo)
(Pixabay.com Photo)

PHOENIX — Molecular biology researchers based in Arizona said Tuesday they have been able to tie a virus with an outbreak that has led to paralysis in some hospitalized children in Phoenix.

Dr. David Engelthaler of the TGen Research Institute said testing singled out a nonpolio virus, dubbed EV-D68, as a common factor in the local illnesses.

“We were able to show that, unfortunately, these patients in the Phoenix area were certainly infected with [an enterovirus] just prior to them developing the paralysis symptoms,” Engelthaler told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

The virus was found in at least four of the 11 children who were admitted to Phoenix-area hospitals since 2014 suffering from muscle weakness or paralysis.

“It’s really hard to prove when a virus causes a neurologic illness,” the director of programs and operations for TGen North in Flagstaff said.

“But this virus seems to be showing up more and more in patients that have” acute flaccid myelitis.

Engelthaler said there still was no formal recognition of the illness.

Hospitalized children have lost movement in their arms, legs, face and neck about a week after they had fevers and problems breathing.

State and Maricopa County officials asked the nonprofit to try to identify the cause.

In mid-December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there had been 158 confirmed cases in 36 states on the year.

“The good news is this is still a rare illness, but the bad news is we really don’t have a treatment for it. There’s not a great way to quickly identify it,” Engelthaler said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)...
SuElen Rivera

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer not interested in state GOP chair role

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she has been pursued as a potential successor to Kelli Ward as Arizona GOP chair, but she's not interested in the job.
9 hours ago
In the first half of 2019, more than 3.27million pedestrians crossed frmo Mexico to the U.S. throug...
SuElen Rivera

Santa Cruz County sheriff, who oversees Nogales, believes ‘there is no invasion’ at the southern border

Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway said on Wednesday he doesn't believe there is an invasion at the southern Arizona border.
9 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Downtown Mesa)...
KTAR.com

Inaugural Beards and Brews Booze Crawl coming to downtown Mesa on Saturday

Get in the holiday spirit this weekend with a new pub crawl in downtown Mesa this Saturday called Beards and Brews Booze Crawl.
9 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix boosts lifeguard pay incentive to $3,000 for 2023 pool season

After only having enough staff to open about half of its pools in 2022, the city of Phoenix is upping its incentive to lifeguards for next year.
9 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...
KTAR.com

Chandler City Council approves policy to prohibit acts of discrimination

The Chandler City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination during Monday’s meeting.
1 day ago
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Execution warrant requested for Arizona death row inmate

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Team of Arizona researchers find specific tie to paralyzing virus