Feb. 25 - Doctors are seeing a new polio-like virus paralyze children in California. Linda So reports.
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4-year-old Sofia Jarvis loves to show off her moves.
But if you look closely, there's one part of her body she can't move, her left arm.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SOFIA JARVIS, PATIENT, SAYING:
"Lefty is my favorite arm."
Sofia's left arm is paralyzed.
Doctors say she's one of as many as 25 children in California who have come down with a rare and mysterious illness similar to polio.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. EMMANUELLE WAUBANT, PROFESSOR OF NEUROLOGY, SAYING:
"We're not exactly clear what is the agent. We suspect it's a virus explaining these cases."
Some of the children first showed symptoms of a cold.
But doctors still don't know if the illness is caused by a virus.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. KEITH VAN HAREN, PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST, SAYING:
"It can affect one or more limbs, and the prognosis that we've seen so far is not good. Most of the children we've seen have not recovered use of their arm or leg."
In Sofia's case, doctors thought she had asthma. She was hospitalized, but after 4 days, her condition got worse.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JESSICA TOMEI, SOFIA'S MOTHER, SAYING:
"Sofia went to the treasure box to grab her toy and after the doctor and I saw her left hand mid-grasp stop."
Health experts say they don't expect the outbreak to become widespread.
Researchers say the syndrome is serious, but extremely rare.
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