Toddler Copes With Mysterious Polio-Like Illness

Oct. 6, 2014 - Fewer than 50 cases of a mysterious, polio-like illness have been diagnosed in the United States. At least 20 confirmed cases are in California. One of those is Lucian Olivera, now three years old. His mother, Erin, a registered nurse, describes how the family got a diagnosis for his illness and how they cope with it. 

Health officials have yet to identify the cause of this illness, but it is not polio, the disease that devastated thousands of adults and children before a vaccine was discovered in the 1950s. Although several of the patients with polio-like illness in California have tested positive for enterovirus D68, health officials say it is not an epidemic. But in these patients, what often started out as cold-like symptoms or something as simple as a low fever sometimes developed into respiratory failure and, in Lucian's case and others, polio-like paralysis.

For more on the rare illness afflicting children with polio-like symptoms, click here.