Doctors Think They Know What’s Causing the Outbreak of a Rare Polio-Like Illness Across the US

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

A “polio-like” illness called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) has hit the U.S. and doctors and researchers who have been treating it say they now believe it’s caused by the enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). As Business Insider reports, the CDC has steadfastly refused to declare a cause for the illness, which generally has mild symptoms, but can cause sudden arm or leg weakness and other problems such as facial droop and difficulty swallowing — not unlike a case of polio.

Despite CDC’s insistence there isn’t enough evidence to link the two, doctors say they’ve seen an uptick in AFM every couple years, coinciding with EV-D68 outbreaks. One researcher, a neurologist, said his studies in mice show that EV-D68 can impact the nervous system and produce the same symptoms as what you’re currently seeing in children with AFM.

As mentioned, AFM targets the nervous system, and this includes the spinal cord, which leads to the classic weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes in children’s legs and arms. And even though the CDC continues to dig in its heels and its researchers essentially bury their collective heads in the sand, they can’t escape the fact that this illness highly resembles “provocation poliomyelitis,” which is a known possible side effect of vaccines.

To that end, at least one expert — and it looks like possibly more will come onboard — has suggested that if this polio-like virus is circulating in the U.S., the possibility of provocation poliomyelitis can’t be ignored. That being said, specimens (stool, blood and cerebrospinal fluid) tested from AFM patients have so far been negative for actual polio virus and no pathogens have been consistently detected in spinal fluid.

Unfortunately, when EV-D68 was first noticed in the U.S. in 2014, you didn’t hear much about it — even though at least a dozen children died from it — because it was not, unlike the measles vaccine, something the government was interested in promoting. Award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson explained it this way:

"Too often reporters wait for the government to tell them what's a story and what's not a story. They won't do the digging on their own, which I think is a very bad trend. But I tried to find out about this [enterovirus] and asked the CDC some questions, to which they replied they didn't gather certain data. I searched the web and found that the CDC had published a paper with the data that I've asked for! So it was completely false what they told me..."

You read that correctly: An award-winning journalist did some digging and found that the CDC wasn’t telling her the truth when she asked about data regarding the virus. What’s even more discouraging is her comments on journalists who “won’t do the digging on their own.”

What this tells us is that we absolutely must be our own advocates in our quest for information on how to stay healthy. Indeed, at the very least, it once again highlights the many complexities surrounding vaccination, infectious disease and the little-understood consequences that can occur as a result.

So, while we wait to hear whether the increase in cases of AFM is in any way related to provocation poliomyelitis, the CDC, rather than exploring all potential possibilities, is still recommending practicing " … disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands and protecting yourself against mosquito bites," as the current solution. In other words, you’re on your own.

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