A young boy with polio walks with the assistance of braces.

A rare polio-like paralysis has struck at least two dozen California children, starting in September 2012. Doctors are now examining the cases of five Bay Area children and the others around the state afflicted with sudden paralysis. We talk with the two neurologists leading the investigation about the challenges of trying to solve this medical mystery and what is known so far.

Emmanuelle Waubant, neurologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Multiple Sclerosis Center
Keith Van Haren, pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford

  • Maya

    Could it be a fungal disease? I’m thinking of valley fever cases on the rise-maybe it’s something like that?

  • John DiMarco

    I am a twin, and when my twin brother and I were about 9 years old, my brother came down with ‘weak legs’ which required him to use a wheel chair. We were born in San Jose, California. No doctor could diagnose what was wrong with my twin brother. My father, who was a general practioner, started eliminating different foods from his diet, and concluded that he was allergic to Ascorbic acid, (which he was getting frozen orange juice). After my brother abstained from ascorbic acid, his symptoms went away.
    John DiMarco

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