Polio Like Condition Strikes Toledo Toddler

A visit to the Emergency Room for Ayesha Waller's two-year old daughter Alice resulted in a diagnosis of dehydration. The result doctor's said of a common virus. She was sent on her way let the sickness take it's course.

"There was something very different about this though, I was very scared," says Waller. She said the family was traveling back from vacation and it just didn't feel right. Waller said normally when her daughter Alice was sick, she still played around and it didn't slow down much. But she says, "She stopped eating, drinking and a fever, she had no runny nose, nothing like that."

Shortly after the Waller's pulled into to Toledo, Ayesha noticed something really wrong with Alice. "Her right arm was just limp, not moving tripping falling over her arm," says Waller. Ayesha said they rushed Alice back to the emergency room thinking she had a stroke. That's when Alice was diagnosed with transverse myelitis. It's an inflammation of the spinal chord that causes paralysis.

Nationwide, there are pockets of children being diagnosed with this rare side effect of a common virus. Six children in Minnesota were diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis. That's the same complication from the enterovirus 68. It's onset is sudden and very scary for parents. The treatment involves immune therapy to support the child's ability to fight the virus. In some cases doctor's will use steroids to reduce the swelling, but this is done very carefully because it also suppresses the immune system.

Alice spent two weeks in the hospital and got the use of her right hand and left leg back, but she's still undergoing physical therapy for the use of her right arm. Ayesha is encouraging parents to push for answers if they're child comes down with a sudden onset of these puzzling symptoms because prompt treatment is essential to help the child make a full recovery.