DENVER -- Many questions remain at Children’s Hospital Colorado about what may have caused paralysis in 10 children admitted since Aug. 8.
Six children showed enough improvement to be sent home, but others are facing complications, a hospital spokesman said.
“Will these kids fully recover or not? We don't know,” said Dr. Samuel Dominguez.
One thing is certain, there is no solid link to the Enterovirus 68.
"We've looked in the spinal fluid for the virus we did not find it," Dominguez said.
Only a test of nasal fluid showed four of the children had the Enterovirus 68. The others did not.
Doctors are still waiting for test results on one patient. Another recovered from a very mild case and hadn't been tested.
The patients range in age from between one and 18.
Dr. Teri Schreiner, a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said the cases involve swelling of the spinal cord.
"We've had several patients who had weakness of the muscles that control swallowing and speech," Schreiner said.
Experts from the Centers for Disease Control are working with the state health department and Children’s Hospital Colorado to determine if an active infection is the cause or if the paralysis is a delayed result of a past infection.
Medical experts say similar cases have been reported in other parts of the nation, but the cluster of cases here in Colorado seem to be unique.
"Most of them have had both weakness of one or more limbs as well as weakness of the facial muscle," Schreiner said.
The investigative medical team strongly urges parents not to panic because this occurrence is extremely rare.
Dr. Chris Nyquist, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s Hospital Colorado said parents should focus on keeping kids safe from infections of any kind including "Common sense things," like "encouraging them to wash their hands, avoiding people who are sick.”
Parents should also make sure children receive recommended vaccines against flu and whooping cough.
If your child experiences any signs of limb weakness or difficulty breathing seek medical attention immediately.
For more on the CDC’s advisory regarding recent cases of paralysis in children visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00370.aspAlertMe