Scots children hospitalised for polio-like virus

Four children are understood to have been hospitalised after contracting enterovirus D68.

Four children are understood to have been hospitalised after contracting enterovirus D68.

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Four children have been admitted to the Sick Kids Hospital on suspicion of a polio-like virus which carries a risk of paralysis, reports suggest.

A small cluster of children from the south east Scotland have been struck down by enterovirus D68, a rare respiratory bug spread through coughs and sneezes.

The virus, which has no cure or anti-viral vaccine, can leave patients unable to walk and unable to breathe or swallow in the most extreme cases.

The Scottish cases are all being treated at the Sick Kids Hospital, in Edinburgh.

It is understood that the four primary-age children had struggled to move their limbs, while two are believed to have been in intensive care.

The health board would not confirm their condition this morning but said all the children were now testing negative for the virus.

Dr Kate Templeton, chair of incident management team and a consultant clinical scientist at NHS Lothian, said: “We have been investigating a possible cluster of patients infected with enterovirus D68.

“The patients are all now testing negative for the virus and are being cared for at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh.”

Health protection officials said there have been 36 cases across Scotland in 2016, mostly among children who are more vulnerable to the virus.

A Health Protection Scotland (HPS) spokesperson said: “HPS is aware of 36 detections of EV-D68 in Scotland in 2016, mainly in children. We have issued two professional briefings to the NHS on EV-D68 to date - on September 23 and October 5.”

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