Polio-Like Illness Hits Neighboring State

Lake Havasu City, AZ – Supervisor Buster Johnson would like to make the public aware of a severe polio-like illness that has affected at least twenty-five children in California aged two to sixteen. “I have had several individuals inquire if Mohave County has seen any similar cases,” Supervisor Johnson stated. According to Mohave County Public Health Director Patty Mead, Mohave County has so far seen nothing similar to what those in California have experienced. Officials with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have confirmed that these cases are not polio. All twenty-five children had received the polio vaccination prior to experiencing any symptoms. In all cases, each child suffered some sort of paralysis that affected one or more of their limbs along with respiratory difficulties. Five of the cases have received a thorough examination whereas the other 15-20 have not received a full workup to isolate a cause. Of those five cases, two of the effected children had enterovirus-68 isolated as a possible culprit whereas the other three did not. CDPH officials are stating that these cases may be a non-polio enterovirus, but more investigation is necessary. The CDPH advises that the best way to prevent the spread of any enterovirus is through hand washing and keeping sick children away from others. The Arizona Department of Health Services has not identified any cases in Arizona, but is on heightened alert for reports of unidentified child paralysis and continues to monitor the situation. Supervisor Johnson advises those who may have experienced a situation like this or know someone who has to contact the Mohave County Public Health Department at 928-753-0743. ###